Have you ever wondered about the relationship between the video game player and their avatar? Bitlogic – A Cyberpunk Arcade Adventure attempts to explore this relationship over the course of a couple of hours. In Bitlogic, you play as a character named Bit. Bit is your avatar in the virtual world since it’s impossible to go there yourself. Together, you and Bit traverse a dangerous virtual reality by shooting your way through this short but compelling adventure.
You’re very limited in what actions you can take. Bit can only move and shoot straight ahead, either in single shots or rapid fire. Luckily, bullets are unlimited, but you can’t move and shoot at the same time, so positioning plays a crucial role in your effectiveness.
That’s not to thoroughly criticize Bitlogic; while the concept feels somewhat outdated by today’s standards, it also adds a bit of depth to the game you otherwise wouldn’t have. Your limited move set goes a long way in making the whole world feel like a puzzle. That gap in front of you? You can’t jump over it, so you have to find another way.
Your objective in each area is to collect chips to unlock a door to continue. These doors serve as checkpoints, so if you die, you’ll pick up at the start of your current area. Your health only regenerates upon picking up chips or at certain checkpoints, so managing your damage is vital to your success. In addition to the chip pickups, several 1-ups litter the levels. Not only do these pickups give you an extra life, but you seemingly can’t beat the game without them.
The ending plays out entirely differently from the rest of the game, and though short, it plays with you a little bit. I even found that the game kicked me back to the very beginning with no items because of something I did! Luckily, the game is short enough that this isn’t too much of a problem. I’ve played through three times and clocked in at just under two and a half hours.
Bitlogic’s story is rather light, and honestly, I didn’t really understand what was going on throughout most of my first playthrough. Aside from the opening dialogue and a few quips from Bit throughout the game, there’s nothing really to go on. Once you hit the end though, things snap into place. I won’t spoil anything here, but the ending caught me a little off guard and made me think about the game for a little bit.
Outside of the game, Bitlogic offers a couple of interesting features. First, it has an in-game achievement system, so if you care about that sort of thing, it provides a reason to go back through again. Second, and the cooler of the features, is the inclusion of the original MSX version of the game. If you want to be hip and retro, Bitlogic has you covered.
If you’ve beaten the game once, you unlock a few extras as well. First, you get the option to change the soundtrack between the updated versions and the original. The neat part of it is that you can do this on a track-by-track basis, instead of just flipping the whole thing. Second, you unlock a New Game+ mode, which completely changes the context of the game.
Next, you unlock Inferno mode. This mode graces you with unlimited lives at the cost of dying in one hit. There’s also a built-in timer, perfect for speedruns. Lastly, you can fight special golden enemies in New Game+. These are much tougher than their normal counterparts, but killing them earns you a medal. Unfortunately, these medals just give you some background information on their corresponding enemy type and aren’t really worth worrying about.
Ultimately, if you’re in the market for a classic adventure platformer, you can certainly do worse than Bitlogic. Though I enjoyed my time with the game, I’m in no rush to dive back in any time soon, especially after playing through three times. There’s enough there that will keep you interested for a playthrough or two at the very most, especially since the game is rather short.
A review code was provided by the publisher.