Byte Driver – Review

Get radical and blast down the endless highway in Byte Driver, the latest game from Vector Hat.

Feeling like a long lost arcade cabinet from the early 80’s, Byte Driver is an interesting mix of games like Outrun, Night Driver and Spyhunter. As you make your way through the courses energy slowly depletes, hitting an object or obstacle will drain a larger percentage and hitting zero means game over. As you drive along you can hack opponents stealing energy or earning upgrades like improved vehicle stats, weapons or other consumables for your vehicle. Progressing through levels means harder enemies with more defensive and offensive skills will be there to oppose you in your pursuit of high scores.

Byte Driver definitely has some cool retro styling, looking like an old vector drawn game with screen shake and glitches being thrown in for good measure. There is also a monochrome mode for those that really want to embrace that real vector drawn feeling. The soundtrack is  fantastic and suits the style perfectly, filling sound and vision with pure 80s aesthetic that really gets you into the feel of the game. Being high score driven means that at low level play, Byte Driver is perfect for hot seat score comps with friends while high level play can be fought for with online leaderboards.

Byte Driver succeeds in evoking retro game feel and charm but, much like it’s early arcade peers, there isn’t much else to the game beyond 5 difficulty levels and high scores. Challenge does ramp up nicely as you progress and it can get real tough towards the end but with practice it’s easy to shoot for those high scores. The addition of a “low Stress” mode is nice for people to come to terms with the mechanics and allows you to play without the energy meter falling to zero for some more casual play.

There is a lot of fun to be had here and fans of classic arcade games will likely enjoy what Byte Driver has to offer, a well made and fantastic looking indie title.

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Mat Panek
Retromancer – Collector, repairer & fan of retro games & tech. Atari to Amiga, Nintendo to Sega! LD, Zip, Beta and a proud dad! One half of the TiredParents on Twitch.

Follow Mat on Twitter and Twitch

 

 

Disclosure: Byte Driver was kindly provided by Vector Hat for this review.

 

 

80s Baby: NKOTB Are Back Baby!


New Kids On The Block are back, baby! Well, so are Salt-N-Pepa, Naughty By Nature, Tiffany and Debbie Gibson performing 80s Baby. Part of the ‘The Mixtape Tour 2019‘, this new single is a throwback to the awesomest decade of them all, the 1980s!

This song will have you bopping along with that familiar cool 80s tunes. Oh yeah, the video clip is a throwback to Sega’s cool OutRun arcade game – a nice touch indeed!

Huge thanks to Poop Face (aka: Freakin Frankie) for letting us know about this!


source: New Kids On The Block

 

Tomy Turnin’ Turbo Dashboard OutRun Arcade

Talk about an awesomely impressive retro hardware hack!

What do you get when you grab a Tomy Turnin’ Turbo Dashboard, Sega’s awesome OutRun arcade game and a very very clever hardware hacking peep named Matt Brailsford? You get a hack to outdo all other hacks – the Tomy Turnin’ Turbo Dashboard OutRun Arcade!

Rather than regurgitating the meticulous steps Matt took to create this awesome piece, read his epic blog post right now! Wish we could make this!


source: Circuitbeard

image source: Circuitbeard.co.uk

 

SEGA Arcade: Pop-Up History

We know we said no more backing of Kickstarter campaigns, but when Read-Only Memory are involved, we make an exception. If you need convincing as to why they are one of the best gaming-related book publishers, then check out the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis: Collected Works, Britsoft: An Oral History and The Bitmap Brothers: Universe to name just a few.

The latest Read-Only Memory tome ‘Sega Arcade: Pop-Up History‘ has definitely excited us and tickled our nostalgic fancy. This will be a book of pop-up sculptures of SEGA’s greatest arcade cabinets: Hang-On, Space Harrier, Thunder Blade, After Burner, and Out Run! If this doesn’t excite you, then we have no idea what will. One thing is for certain, the quality and content will be top notch!

Check out the Kickstarter campaign now and make sure you get a piece of this awesome Sega arcade history!

image source: SEGA Arcade: Pop-Up History

 

Highest-Grossing Arcade Machines of All Time

Let’s reflect and gloat for one second – it was great to be alive during the Golden Age of Arcade video games and experience arcade joints first-hand; from the clean franchised ones to the decrepit dark and scary independent ones – we loved them all.

Oh yeah, we loved the games too, from coin dropping in Galaga, Bomb Jack, Pac-Man, Tron, Double Dragon, DragonNinja to Sega’s beasts like Space Harrier, Super Hang-On, OutRun, After Burner and Thunder Blade – we spent up big and loved every single second of it.

The 1990s started with us hammering coins into Atari’s Pit-Fighter, Capcom’s Final Fight and Street Fighter II. However, it was Sega’s Daytona USA that emptied our piggy bank of coins – we just could not get enough of it.

source: The Arcade Flyer Archive

Looking at the top 10 highest grossing arcade games (below), we can tell you that we played them all during their heyday and understand why the dot munching Pac-Man is perched right up top – the game was a breath of fresh air (for its time), as it wasn’t a derivative of the then plethora of space shoot’em ups. Pac-Man was truly a revolutionary title which had universal appeal, both male and female gamers loved chasing Inky, Blinky, Pinky and Clyde.

So what of Atari’s Pong then? Well, the 1972 game did very well for Atari, they sold somewhere between 8,500 to 19,000 units (1972 to 1973) grossing them around $11Million US dollars – not bad for 1973!

The revenues generated were quite staggering, reaffirming the Golden Age of Arcade video games period as the most prosperous of them all, with Street Fighter II, Mortal Kombat and NBA Jam flying the flag for the 1990s.

Source: Wikipedia, USGamer and Goliath

 

The Most Accurate Arcade Diorama!

Holy smokes! Just as we were scrolling aimlessly through our Twitter feed and were about to give up and shut the app, we came across xevious765_bt’s Tweet which almost made us choke on our own spit!

The (loose) translation of xevious765_bt’s Tweet is, “The arcade diorama was taken by a close female photographer, ‼\(^o^)/ 📷 and the real feeling is different when I take it with a good camera of the one eye reflex! of ▽*) Course, the cameraman’s arm is good.

Gotta thank their close female photographer friend for snapping these awesome pics. Oh, and to the creator of the arcade diorama, wow, talk about intricate detail – simply amazing!

[source: xevious765_bt via Twitter]