App Reviewed on: iPhone XR
User Interface Rating:
Replay Value Rating:
OneBit Adventure is a roguelite you can easily play one-handed. It’s also free-to-play, but it doesn’t feature any ads, stamina meters, or any of the horrible stuff usually associated with games that are “free.” This sounds like a dream, but the only problem is that OneBit Adventure just isn’t particularly engaging. It feels more like “a thing to do to pass time” than it does a satisfying game experience.
In OneBit Adventure, you waste no time hopping into the action. You choose a class, name your character, and then are immediately dumped into your first dungeon. Dungeons are essentially long hallways presented in portrait mode that you can move around in using a virtual d-pad on the right side of the screen.
The action in OneBit Adventure is turn-based, meaning every time your character moves, so do the enemies in the dungeon. Combat consists of bumping your character up against enemies to trade blows with them. In any given play session, your goal is to make it as far as possible in the dungeon without dying.
Dungeons in OneBit Adventure are full of more than just enemies. There are coins to collect (which can be used to create different classes of heroes), chests of loot, food to restore your HP, a blacksmith to upgrade your gear, and even special caves full of materials need to pay the blacksmith. None of this stuff can stay with you between runs if you die, though. Fortunately, you can actually bank these materials between runs if you successfully get your hero to a campfire and end your play session.
Campfires also have the added benefit of restoring your hero to full health automatically, which generally presents you with a kind of tension. Do you try to press on for more loot, or just return to home base to save all your items going into your next run? Unfortunately, this system is rarely ever feels all that interesting because the smart choice in nearly every situation is to end your run. There’s virtually no downside to ending your run early, so there’s not much reason to take the risk of losing gear in OneBit Adventure.
Bump and grind
And here is where we get to the bummer of OneBit Adventure. As cool as it is to have a free roguelite that lets you build and upgrade a bunch of different heroes, the game just isn’t all that engaging or challenging. The bump-based combat is so one-dimensional that there isn’t a whole lot of strategy you can employ that feels worthwhile, and the ability to bank supplies and loot between runs for no penalty just lets you steamroll your way through levels on your next run with an overleveled character.
Even if you don’t mind OneBit Adventure’s flat gameplay, there are still a few things about it that can be irritating. The most notable of these is how far apart its campfires are. You can play the game for ten minutes or more without hitting one of these checkpoints, which is practically an eternity for mobile games, particularly mobile games that seem designed to be short burst experiences. This can result in a lot of lost progress if you have to switch between apps during a session.
The bottom line
OneBit Adventure feels like it is a game designed to be played while you’re half paying attention to it. There are some neat things about it, but the core gameplay is so light that you’d get bored easily if you weren’t distracting yourself with something else at the same time. If you’re into that, cool, but there are also many more entertaining ways you could pass some time on your phone for free that don’t involve playing OneBit Adventure.