2Bit Review
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2Bit Review

Our Review by Carter Dotson on March 22nd, 2011
Rating: starstarstarblankstarblankstar :: NEEDS MORE BITS
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2Bit is an action game that has you trying to avoid various turrets and obstacles, with only the ability to go backwards standing between you and certain doom.

Developer: Industrial Brothers
Price: $0.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPod touch 4G

Graphics / Sound Rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar
Game Controls Rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar
Gameplay Rating: starstarstarblankstarblankstar
Replay Value Rating: starstarhalfstarblankstarblankstar

Overall Rating: starstarstarblankstarblankstar

You know what's great about the App Store? It's allowed for pared-down games to exist and succeed. Games can exist and be built around simple concepts, without having to build unnecessary complexity around a good idea. The problem is that sometimes this goes too far, and you can pare a game down to such simplicity that it loses any substance at all. Here's exhibit A in the 'too simple' case file. 2Bit puts you in control of a cube that is traveling forward, forever onward, trying to navigate through hazards of bullets, lasers and traps. The only control you have over this cube is to hold down on the screen to move it backwards. That's pretty much it as far as gameplay goes, the game has 20 levels of increasing difficulty, as the patterns of traps and obstacles get increasingly complex.

While a game with one-dimensional movement seems like it might not be challenging, the level designs make even a one-dimensional movement game very challenging. You get bonus points for surviving while taking as little damage as possible, and you have global leaderboards through OpenFeint and Game Center. The game also has a very cool chiptune soundtrack, which fits very well with the game's wireframe aesthetic.

2Bit's biggest sin is that it is just far too simple a game. there is no complexity to it, the only thing that varies are the level designs, which utilize a lot of the same tricks over and over again. Plenty of games have been guilty of being repetitive and simple in concept and still have been fun; it's just that the main mechanic just isn't all that fun to play with because of its absolute simplicity, so trying to propel yourself along and progress in the game feels like work rather than fun. I think I felt more like I was playing just to see if things got any better, rather than playing because I enjoyed it and wanted to keep going.

2Bit is a simple game, and that is unfortunately its greatest drawback. You can succeed with simple gameplay mechanics, you just have to make sure that the elements surrounding the game, like the level design, are interesting and varied enough to keep me interested, and 2Bit does not accomplish this. Fans of the retro gaming aesthetic have plenty of other worthy places to look for their fix on iOS.

iPhone Screenshots

(click to enlarge)

2Bit screenshot 1 2Bit screenshot 2 2Bit screenshot 3 2Bit screenshot 4 2Bit screenshot 5
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