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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Bit.Trip Beat & Bit.Trip Runner Review (PC version on Steam)

Developer(s)                 Gaijin Games

Publisher(s)                 Aksys Games

Platform                       PC (though it’s also out on Wii, iOS and Nintendo 3DS)

Release date                 Nov. 2010 (Bit.Trip Beat), Feb 2011 (Bit.Trip Runner)

Genre(s)                       Indie games, Retro, Action, Platform (Runner)

Mode(s)                        Single Player, Multiplayer (Beat)

Rating(s)                      ESRB: E PEGI: 3
The other day I had a chat with an old gamer friend who mentioned me something that she likes to play mindless games and just to kill time. From that moment she said the word “mindless” it reminded me back to the two indie games from Gaijin I bought from Steam. Bit.Trip Beat and Runner, bothe are priced on 10US$ each so I took liberty on buying them less than 5$ during Steam’s annual event called Summer Camp Sale       

 And here's the hero in the game:


One word that came from my mind when I first saw both games and that is “Retro”. The Beat version reminded me of Atari’s “Pong” with a mix of beat music with colorful effects while Runner is like an 8bit version of our today's Doritos Crash Course on Xbox 360 and also both moves as accordingly from the beat of the music. Both are representing a retro feel in the game and that’s actually where it shines. A nostalgic feel will attack old gamers with a modern charm mix that also welcomes the new era of gamers.


Basically a beat down 8 bit element doesn’t take a lot of efforts on animations but it works perfectly well given to today’s society in promoting the old back to make it anew. Mixing it up with colors will not bore the eyes and will appeal you with the environment.

                                Bit.Trip Beat: from a black & white screen that bring you the oldies...
                                To this modern theme and catchy tunes.


On Beat version you control a paddle like Pong, but the movement of each blocks changes when you’re dealing with them and each behaves differently depending on their colors and shapes. The more you successfully hit the blocks the better beats you will receive and that’s where one of the charms of the game comes from. In Runner however, it plays like a platform as you control CommanderVideo (although you control him also in Runner version and the rest of the Bit.Trip games) through the obstacles. like the Beat version, it also plays accordingly with the beat of the music, everytime you initiate and action to evade an obstacle you will hear a tone that will register to the beat to form an appealing sound to the music and when you get a certain "plus object" the beat will evolve from a retro chiptune version to a catchy tune that most likely will stuck in your head for a while. Both games are simple to play however they’re hard to master. Precision is essential for both games, fortunately the tune keeps you motivated enough to each an extra mile and possibliy push for perfection. Note that the Beat version controls on a mouse and Runner controls on a keyboard but plays swell on a gamepad.

                              Bit.Trip Runner: easy in just running round through obsticles
                               Better tunes comes in as soon as you get those Rainbow on your back


Aside from the retro environment of game, the tune helps in to create a nostalgia aura which then in my case, re-invented the wheel of retro gaming in me. However, the tune will get catchier as you play it overtime. It’s no joke that when I reached to that point It put a smile on my face.


Retro gaming does not come often nowadays but it’s an amazing how they catch a gamer’s attention such as me on the right sport and music. It made me remember my times with the Atari 2600. Both games are a nice time wasting games and to add that the Beat version can also allow you to tweet and/or share your progress on Facebook for a price of 10US$ each, it’s worth every penny (unless if it’s on sale from steam again then go buy it/them without hesitation). I am proud to say that Gaijin is one of those rare game devs that surprisingly restructured the essense of retro gaming. I hope to God that they will last longer to be in the gaming industry to infinity...and beyond.

Score    9

That 8 bit nostalgia
Catchy tune
Simple gameplay

Hard to master gameplay
Sometimes colors can be a little bit flashy for those who has eye conditions (Beat version)

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