This is a first impressions after 2 hours of gameplay
You often see games coming out that promise a nostalgia trip to the early days of gaming, but very few games deliver on that promise, and either fail when it comes to artstyle, music or most importantly; gameplay.
8BitBoy is not one of those games. It is a game that harkens back to the 16-bit era when Nintendo and Capcom rocked the world with their line of Super Mario and Mega Man games respectively. It is a game that manages to feel both fresh and familiar at the same time.
It is one of those games that are deceptivly simple. The controls consist only of the arrow-keys to walk jump, and crouch and the spacebar to use a projectile if you've got one, while holding it down makes you sprint, and shift to use an item you've obtained by collecting 100 coins. Despite of this, the game is extremely difficult, but it's not cheap. When you die, no one is to blame but yourself, and you're forced to learn from your mistakes. The game is comprised of 5 differently themed worlds.The gameplay is your standard 2D platforming fare; you go from left to right, killing enemies, avoiding hazards and jumping on platforms to reach the end and advance to the next level. The game is not without it's differences however. It's surprisingly open-ended, with many, if not all of the levels having branching paths and secret areas, rewarding you for taking the time to explore. The game also features an interesting Weapon-tier system, where at the first pick-up you will get a shield, on the second you will get a single fireball, on the third you will get two that fire in a rapid succession, and on the forth you will get more powerful fireballs. The projectiles bounce off surfaces, making killing the enemies extremely satisfying. The music in the game is absolutely fantastic, and I'm sure fans of Chiptune will get a kick out of it.
Unfortunately the game is not without it's flaws. The enemies for one are mostly boring and generic, being comprised of Bats, snakes, giant insects and birds. The same can be said about the bosses I've faced so far, which have been nothing special. There are also moments when objects in the background look like they're in the foreground, making it possible to mistake them for platforms, resulting in you falling to your death.
There are also a few bugs I encountered while playing, nothing too gamebreaking but some annoying nonetheless. The worst one was definetely the times when sprint suddenly decided not to work, forcing me to restart the game. The others are mostly visual bugs, like enemies walking on air when you destroy a block in their path. I also find the lack of trading cards and achievements a bit disappointing, but those are hopefully getting added in the future. Despite it's flaws, 8BitBoy is an excellent Platformer that fans of the genre should find entertaining for a while, and for the price I absolutely recommend it.