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.

 

 

Inside Lens: Game Preservation – The Quest

nhk_game_preservationNostalgia can be very intoxicating, especially when it comes to video games. That affection we feel for the gaming period from our past can be lost if we do not take action to preserve it.

Preserving old video games has invaluable cultural and historical value, not just for our generation, but for generations to come. We want future generations to be able to look at, study, learn from and most importantly, play these old games.

In Japan, two video game enthusiasts, a French citizen (Joseph Redon) and a Japanese surgeon (Takuya Fukuda), are on a mission to save our old video games from extinction. They founded the Game Preservation Society, a non-profit organisation whose goal is to restore and archive video games from the past. Check out the NHK World – Inside Lens documentary – it pays tribute to their preservation work.

* The documentary is available to watch till December 12 2016, so get on over here and watch it! *

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nhk_game_preservation_8source: NHK World Japan – Inside Lens

Thank you to our friend, Lane Myer for bringing this to our attention.