Indie game of the week: Bit.trip runner

Long time with no posts, but here I am back again.

Well, as I talked last post about Bit.trip Beat I decided today to review another game from the bit.trip series, that time the bit.trip runner.

This time you have a gameplay that remembers a lot Vib Ribbon for PSX, but with more modern look.

Well…in case you don’t know vib ribbon you may find strange how an old-school game based on pixel art may appears more modern the other, so I will make a small post about it to support the Bit.trip review.

Welcome to the intermission

Forgotten Old game mini-edition: Vib Ribbon

Vib-ribbon is a rhythm + plataform game from 1999 designed by Masaya Matsuura, the same one behind PaRappa the Rapper.

Like almost every rhythm game, this game is all about reflex. You had the protagonist, Vibri, automatically walking forward. So the only thing you need to do is to press a specific button to avoid a specific kind of obstacle. It may sound really easy and simple, but when you play it in the speed that this game has, you will see it’s more challenging than you may imagine.

One cool thing of the game is that you can play it with any music you like. The game already have some original songs, but you can insert a music CD on the PSX (considering you are playing on it) and the game load a selected track from the disk into the console memory and make a stage based on the rhythm of the track.

To achieve this the game have a really original look. Iit consists in white lines in a black background, with no grayscales, fills or colors. So with this minimal look it’s easy for a hardware as the PSX to keep an audio track on it’s memory and render a stage without any difficulty and also to make stages that don’t appear to be randomly made.

So here is the tutorial of the game so you can understand how it works:

And now back to our original post!

So now imagine vib ribbon with the bit.trip visual style and you have bit.trip runner. But in this game you can’t select the music you are going to play. Actually all the stages have the same music that gets more complex depending on how much powerups you got on the stage. The harder part is that the game only teaches you how to do the actions in the game, so the gamer have to discover for itself when to do the actions. Another thing that makes it harder than vib ribbon is that in vib ribbon you had some tolerance for failures, but here any failure is punished with the player having to start the game from the beginning.

Another addition to the vib ribbon gameplay is that you have items to collect in the middle of the stages, with count for score and if you manage to get every item of a stage you go to a bonus stage with a pitfall look to try to get a even higher score. (but this time if you fail you go to the next stage anyway)

Resume

Gameplay

Really nice. Not to difficult and not to easy and simple enough so anyone can play.

Style

Well, it’s a game with a pixel-art look and a chiptune soundtrack.  Awesome! And I really like the anamanaguchi song “Blackout city”  that plays at the main menu.

Value

The game is a little short and the replay value is not very high, but for it’s for sure a nice game for $9,99

And now as (almost) always, a video of the gameplay (yeah…I guess this time I make obvious that this game also have a mac version)

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