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BiT Evolution Reviewed by Cyril Lachel on . BiT Evolution attempts to recreate the look and feel of the Atari 2600, Nintendo Entertainment System, Game Boy and Super NES. Although it's a fun and engaging platformer, this charming action game never feels authentic and isn't very deep. Despite these flaws, the ambitious concept makes BiT Evolution worth playing. Rating: 64%
BiT Evolution
BiT Evolution BiT Evolution BiT Evolution BiT Evolution
  • Review Score:

  • B-
Kids of today will never understand how bad gamers had it back in the 1980s. There was no such thing as downloading new releases; buying a game meant walking to the store through the worst conditions and spending way too much money on a thirty minute arcade port. Sometimes we had to blow on the cartridges to make them work, and even the hardest games only gave you three continues to work with. These were the stepping stones to where we are now, and I'm glad I was there to see it firsthand.

For those who missed the 8- and 16-bit eras, Major Games wants to take you on trip back to a time filled with pixel graphics and chiptune soundtracks. BiT Evolution is a love letter to not just the era, but to each different console and what made them unique.

The game stars BiT, the little ball you see bouncing around in Pong. After successfully thwarting a brutal attack by the paddles, our hero discovers that he has the ability to survive and evolve through several different generations of video game consoles. This sends him on a journey through four lengthy worlds, each mimicking the look and games from four classic consoles.

The adventure begins in a world that looks a lot like Pitfall on the Atari 2600. BiT is still only a ball, but at least he has color in his face. It won't be long before the little guy makes the leap to the handheld. The second world introduces a whole new look, featuring a monochromatic color scheme that pays homage to the Game Boy. BiT is still a ball, but he finally has facial animation and two feet to stand on.

After taking down the serpentine boss, our hero makes his way to the world of the Nintendo Entertainment System. He's finally evolved into what looks like a traditional 8-bit man, and he's ready to pick up power-ups and conquer the increasingly complicated level designs. If he can do all that, he'll find himself in the 16-bit era, fighting turtles in a Metroidesque space suit. He can float and turn into a little ball, all in hopes of picking up pixels and making it out alive.

BiT Evolution (Steam)Click For the Full Picture Archive

It's the Realm of Code that ultimately ties these four generations together. Instead of dying every time he falls onto a bed of spikes, BiT escapes into a mysterious sub-world with a completely different layout. It's here that he will be able to find hidden pixels and portals taking him back to the real world. Some paths will be block, forcing the evolving hero to commit suicide in order to complete the level.

This is the kind of game that lives or dies on selling its authenticity. On one hand, each of the four worlds does a good job of mimicking that console's cliches. You'll see a lot of the same enemies and environments evolve alongside BiT, which makes the adventure compelling. However, it always feels like a cover band and not the real deal. It's clear that this is a 21st century game pretending to be 8-bit.

While the graphics do a good job of evolving, I cannot say the same for the gameplay. BiT is limited to jumping on enemies for the first half of the game. Perhaps you can get away with this in the Atari 2600 era, but Game Boy titles were a lot more involving than this game suggests. The NES generation adds two new power-ups, both of which are then repeated in the final 16-bit era. The result is a game that feels like it's stretched too thin and could have benefited from a few more gameplay mechanics.

BiT Evolution (Steam)Click For the Full Picture Archive

Despite never feeling authentic, I still had a great time playing through the 60 stages. There's a surprising amount of variety in each world, and it never feels like the game is just repeating the same obstacles from level to level. I wish it had gone a little further and explored the cliches common to the Sega Genesis, TurboGrafx-16 and Atari Lynx. There's a lot of potential here, and I would love to see Major Games build on this concept.

Although BiT Evolution falls short of its mark, it's still a fun and engaging 2D platformer. Fans of these classic consoles will get a kick out of the jokes and references, and there's enough variety to keep the 60 stages from becoming repetitious. It's not as deep as I would have liked, but there's no denying that it's a solid action game with an attractive price.
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