I know the game title itself sounds a little unfavorable; however, the game deserves more credit than I expected. From first glance, it may seem to be suspicious mess, but it redeems itself through its actually enjoyable gameplay (once you stop trying to understand what is happening in game, at least).
8-Bit Invaders!, developed and published by Petroglyph, was not the easiest game to tackle for a simple game review. After 3-4 hours of reading every detail the game had to offer about how to play the game and how to build towards your objectives, I quickly stopped reading and had to just play the game out. (Not the most fun to reread several sentences just to try to start playing, but the introductory level does do a good job of assessing all of that non-light reading).
In 8-Bit Invaders!, the main mode available to new players is the campaign mode, where you build and command an army (think Clash of Clans) and then set out to complete a variety of tasks (each individual level only asks for you to complete one task however). There are two versions of campaign mode: one where you are in command of the Marines (the more space army-like) and the Cranioids (actually just aliens). No matter which one you take control of, the gameplay remains the same.
Before I can get into how the gameplay actually was like, let me go over how the proper way to play the game is: you start with a set amount of money that you use to buy barracks and at the same time as those barracks are being build, you control a machine that is sent out into the terrain to collect materials so that you could buy more buildings and once those barracks are done, you can then begin to train and send troops to your battlefield (at this point I know you’ve already stopped reading but I must continue). You are then able to send your troops out to the battlefield to accomplish whatever task was given at the start of the level, but you continue training more troops to send out in case they die from facing any enemies on the battle field and while you do this you can also build more types of buildings that can build more powerful and tank-health weapons that can also be controlled with your troops and once your team is all set and perfect, you can then do your best to set out to finish the job.
Learning all of this was not in any way difficult; however, I would be better off not having to spend so long trying to learn all of this.
tl;dr: Make troops, send troops out, do the objective (Wow, I didn’t have to read for hours to understand this game on a basic level now).
The feel of the gameplay itself is quite interesting. As you watch your troops go to battle against any enemies they might encounter, it almost feels like you’re only watching the gameplay (because that’s all you really do; watch the game play out). There are also a plethora of different types of troops to send out; however, it is a simple algorithm of the following: the more expensive it is and the larger it looks, the more powerful that troop must be. To accomodate these larger troops, normally there tend to be item boxes found around the map that offer stronger troops anyway so building these troops don’t really prove to be as necessary as buying an overwhelming force of smaller, cheaper troops.
Objectives in the game can vary from moving your troops to save some allies, moving your troops to destroy some platforms, or even, moving your troops to wherever the map says you need to go to (I’ve never felt such variety in gameplay ever before). However, I will not deny that watching this all take place does give off some form of enjoyment and satisfaction.
The other game modes, skirmish and multiverse, were interesting, although it wasn’t as interesting as the campaign to me (maybe because I didn’t know what I was actually doing). The multiverse is a 1v1 system where you fight skirmishes on single stages based on the other 8-bit series game, however the gameplay is still the same; it’s just placed in a different structure of winning more skirmishes than your opponent.
Now the designs are all well done and suits the game setting and style, the sound effects remind me of this laser-tag place I used to go to, and the gameplay all-in-all is somewhere there (meaning, I actually enjoy on some platform, the gameplay). Following the naming (8-bit), the design of the game is really block-like (but alot smoother than how, say, Minecraft looks).
8-Bit Space Invaders almost has it for me, if the learning curve wasn’t so hard on beginners who have no idea of what is happening and don’t want to read and understand for years, then I would think better of it.
- Attractive visuals (suiting for the style)
- Gameplay itself is well built
- High learning curve (not the easiest game to tackle for those who are new to the 8-bit series, like myself)
Reviewed on: PC; Developer: Petroglyph; Players: Single,Multi-Player; Released: December, 16 2016; ESRB: NA; MSRP: $14.99; Official Site
Note: A promotional code was provided to Denkiphile for review purposes by the publisher