Tag Archives: Rising Star Games

Review: 88 Heroes

 

With Dr.H8 on a war path to annihilate the earth, and the world’s best heroes currently unavailable, the 88th president of the United States gathered 88 of earth’s not so great heroes to take him down before it’s too late. With 88 heroes, you might think it should be a cakewalk to take down DR.H8, but with some of the most obscure powers, (like a pizza eating armadillo), it’s going to be a challenge to stop that evil mastermind.

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88 Heroes is the first game developed by indie studio Bitmap Bureau, which happened to be founded in February of last year. Hopefully Bitmap Bureau can hit it out of the park and make a name for themselves right out the gate. With each hero having their own mechanics, it does make the journey through the 88 levels quite interesting. Having a new hero on every level and each time you die, can be quite difficult, but it does make the experience more enjoyable.

At first glance, 88 Heroes may seem just like any other modern day 2D pixelated platformer with a beautiful art style, chiptune-esque music, and sprinkled in with some shout outs to some classic action films; but after a couple levels you begin to see what 88 Heroes can be. You find your way through each level attempting to reach the elevator to get you a little closer to Dr.H8 while taking advantage of each hero’s special ability, or succumb to the level due to the ridiculousness of your heroes power (or lack thereof). Now it does get a little frustrating when you have already wasted more than a few heroes on one level, but that’s the charm of the game. Without a very engaging story, (much like those classic action films), 88 Heroes has to win you over another way, and that’s where the zaniness and sense of accomplishment get you.  

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The lineup of heroes Bitmap Bureau has brought to the game is wonderful, with references to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Microsoft, Mario Bros and other great media from the 80’s and 90’s. Don’t be mistaken, Bitmap has brought some original heroes into the mix as well, such as Miss Fortune, (She flips a coin and if you’re lucky she takes you straight to the elevator at the end of the level, but if you aren’t, you’re dead on the spot and down one hero), or Nibbles the destroyer, (A nearly indestructible gerbil in a run-about ball), plus many more creative heroes. The colorful cast of heroes that Bitmap has crafted for your adventure wouldn’t be nearly as great if their villain wasn’t just as zany as them. Dr.H8 watches over our heroes from the safety of his hideout (except for some difficult little boss battles, that can deplete your supply of heroes if you aren’t careful). While you overcome Dr.H8s Treacherous rooms you also get to see some insight on how he truly feels and the way he treats his robot henchmen, (it isn’t very good).

I won’t tell you 88 Heroes is an easy game, because I would be lying to you. Bitmap Bureau has made a challenging and fun platformer, with some puzzle elements to their gameplay. You might disagree, but solving each and every room with a new hero is a puzzle within itself, having to understand how each heroes power works and ways to manipulate it to your advantage. One could say there’s 88 ways to tackle each room, but you know there’s probably more. Occasionally you’ll be able to breeze through a room getting that perfect score with your first hero, other times you could lose a hero or two along the way for not playing it smart and going in too fast. Bitmap Bureau really did something special with the change of heroes, bringing in an extra level of difficulty with a puzzle element and still making it fun to play.

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Not only is it fun with a high level of difficulty, but it’s also feels great to play. You might be a little confused at first when learning each of the hero, but after you work out the kinks each hero feels great. This is no easy accomplishment, with 88 different heroes and there are some awkward powers, but they all feel smooth.  

With everything great that Bitmap Bureau does, 88 Heroes still has it’s flaws. One of the biggest things I felt the game was missing was a little story, maybe a cutscene every so often with some witty banter between some of the heroes and maybe Dr.H8. A little more story would have pulled everything together, if done the right way. Also, maybe a selection of three heroes each time you die or hit a new level, just to ease up on the difficulty, which might push some people away from this wonderful game.

CLOSER:

Bitmap Bureau did a great job on 88 Heroes, with its zaniness and overall fun. It’s really inviting for players who enjoyed platformers, but then adds that puzzle flavor which really opens up the game, and that’s why 88 Heroes gets a solid 4. I definitely recommend you go out and pick it up today. You can pick up 88 Heroes on Steam, The PlayStation Store, and on the Microsoft Store for $14.99.

Released on March 24, 2017

Developed by Bitmap Bureau

Published by Rising Star Games

Reviewed on PS4

(4/5)

4-rating

A review copy was provided for the purpose of this review.

Check out the trailer for 88 Heroes below:

Review: A Pixel Story

A 2D side-scroller that both challenges you to think outside the box to solve a plethora of puzzles while reveling in the smart dialogue of your companion, A Pixel Story gives something new to players of all kinds. The game follows the story of a pixel that needs to use his special Teleportation Hat to reach the core of The System and stop the OS from dominating everything. In that sense, much of the game is filled with inside jokes about the fact that you’re in a game and you’re constantly reminded of that fact beginning from the moment you press start with a quick Pong reference. Following a simple gameplay style of just jumping and using your Teleportation Hat, (you are able to leave you hat in a certain location and then  teleport back to it when need be), you’re given the opportunity to do more than just wait for platforms to roll around or try and time the perfect just for the umpteenth time.

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The hat’s real purpose is to give you a freedom that vintage platformers didn’t possess: the ability to try again before dying. Countless times did I fall off an edge or a platform only to be brought back just as quickly because the hat was elsewhere. Many puzzles utilize this feature, (spoiler), but trying to figure out every other possible way to figure it out is just as fun as well. In order for you to reach The Operator, you must find your way through six different ‘generations’, or different worlds that represent different eras in graphical capabilities. These worlds are among one of the coolest things about the game as each world updates the graphics, as well as the puzzles and traps, and moves the story forward. In order to switch between generations, you have to go to The Bedroom, which allows you to see which generations you’ve unlocked as well as lets you travel between them, making it much more simpler to traverse to different areas for any missed goods or side quests.

Another perfectly integrated resource in the game are the checkpoint chambers that automatically spawn you if you die, allowing you to continue an infinite amount of times. Considering the difficulty of some of these puzzles, this proves really beneficial and takes away the stress from focusing on not wasting lives or worrying about a health bar. They’re quick and they’re spread out pretty thick so no matter where you are, a chamber is nearby to help you so need be. This is great as you need to do some pretty deep exploring in order to meet different characters and receive different items that could help you along the way.

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CLOSING COMMENTS:

A Pixel Story provides a quick and witty escape into a a world that is both challenging and smart, giving real value to the $11.99 price point. The different generations themselves make the game worth it as each one offers a beautiful landscape as well as new challenges to keep you on your toes.

Developed by Lamplight Studios

Published by Rising Star Games

Reviewed on the PS4

(4.0/5.0)

4-rating

Check out the trailer for the game below: