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.

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