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.

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

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.

 

 

Classic Times at PAX Aus 2018

There is one undeniable fact about PAX Aus – attendees love reliving their gaming past in the Classic Gaming area!

For the sixth year in a row the ever popular Classic Gaming area returned to PAX Aus – this year brought to you by Ausretrogamer, Bartronica, Bayside Pinball Club, Mr. Pinball, Pinmem, Press Play On Tape podcast, Weird and Retro and Zax Amusements. These groups all brought along their carefully preserved (and awesome) wares to create the magical and nostalgia inducing area.

From the Commodore 64, Amiga 1200, Atari ST and MSX old school computers to the Atari Lynx, Game Boy, WonderSwan, Neo Geo Pocket handhelds and Atari 2600, Vectrex, Sega Master System, NES, PC-Engine, Sega Mega Drive and Super Nintendo consoles (just to name a few!), the Classic Gaming area had your retro gaming covered.

Of course the area didn’t just cater for old school computer and console gamers, it had arcade machines from the golden age like Asteroids, Bad Dudes, Rampage, Double Dragon, Mortal Kombat 2, Rastan, Street Fighter II and a dozen pinball machines, from the new Stern Deadpool to the old High Roller Casino just to tickle your sentimentality without the need of extracting coins from your pocket!

Another section that made a return due to popular demand was the display museum. Standing along the right perimeter of the Classic Gaming area, the glass display cabinets created the perfect backdrop by showcasing carefully curated classic and exotic gaming pieces that invoked strong feelings of intoxicating nostalgia from gaming’s past. This of course was the intention the Classic Gaming team was going for.

With the area proving to be popular as ever, there was never an empty seat or a lonely controller – attendees took full advantage of playing on machines from their childhood and for those with families, it was great to see kids playing games that their parents would have enjoyed when they were their age. With smiles all around and a lot of positive feedback, we can safely say that the PAX Aus Classic Gaming area was a huge success.

So what will we have in store for you all in the Classic Gaming area at PAX Aus 2019? You will have to wait and see, but rest assured, we will definitely be tickling your nostalgic nerve.

 

 

 

Passport: The Vectrex Owners Club Magazine

If you were lucky enough to have had a Vectrex back in the day (Ed: or lucky enough to have one now!), you may have not know that there was an official owners club magazine titled, Passport.

We take a look at a few pages from the premiere issue of Passport from the summer of 1983 and see what was hot on the Vectrex, from the Light Pen and 3D Imager glasses to six of the best Vectrex games and some mailbag shenanigans.

All image source: © 2018 Chris ‘Vectrexer’ Romero via eBay

 

Byte Driver – Vector Based Mayhem

As most of you will know, we are huge fans of vector based games, especially the ones that hark back to our youth, like Atari’s Star Wars and of course, all Vectrex games!

When Mike from Vector Hat informed us of his creation, Byte Driver, our interests were immediately piqued! Byte Driver is currently being funded via Kickstarter with a very modest goal, which we reckon is very achievable!

Byte Driver isn’t just your typical vector based racing game. The game is a combination of 2D racing with an interesting game play mechanic whereby energy that your car runs on is obtained by hacking the vehicles around you. Oh yeah, while you are sapping energy for your own use, you can also hack other vehicles to bolster your weaponry! The whole package comes together quite nicely in its vector display style and synthwave soundtrack. If you want an old school  tough-as-nail game, then Byte Driver will be right up your alley.

If you wanna try before you buy, there is a playable demo for Windows, Linux and OSX! If only this game was also being ported to the Vectrex – we can only hope (hint, hint!).

PS: That Byte Driver pit crew patch looks da biz!

 

 

Behind The Scenes: Making of the Ausretrogamer Header Image

After her awesome work on the Ausretrogamer Fun FactoryMs Ausretrogamer’s turned her talents to creating the ausretrogamer social media header image you have all seen (and hopefully like) on Twitter and Facebook.

Check out the behind the scene of making this header image, as it it definitely wasn’t easy. The end result was all worth it!

Coolate Vectrex 3D Printed LED-Lit Controller

We’ve been on a Vectrex kick lately, from having a beautiful boxed system donated to us, to the cool custom controller overlay to pimp out our older and tired looking Vectrex controllers. We adore the retro gaming splendour that is the Vectrex!

While we are on this vector kick, we’ve found out that there is a smart cookie out there that has used their 3D printing skills in fabricating a Vectrex controller, decked out in great colours and LED-lit analogue sticks! It’s a bit rough around the edges, but it’s still damn cool.

PLEASE TAKE OUR MONEY!

source: eBay

source: Coolate

 

 

Pimp Your Vectrex Controller

Even in its original guise, the Vectrex is one unique and gorgeous piece of gaming hardware! The all-in-one vector gaming system has been a long-time favourite of collectors, hence its hefty price tag.

If you happen to have a Vectrex and you want to make it pop, then perhaps some custom controller overlays of your favourite Vectrex games from German store, arcadeartshop, would be an ideal way to personalise your machine. Arcadeartshop also allow for individual designed controller overlays, all you need to do is send them the graphics and they’ll do the rest!

With a choice of glossy or rough laminate, these custom controller overlays are a cool way to add some colour to your Vectrex and protection for your controller. Priced at €5 (plus shipping) per overlay, we reckon that they are very reasonably priced – we’ll get a couple, thanks!

source: arcadeartshop.de