First Impressions - Dead Bits

No sniping for you!

Thanks to Ainzwick Social Media Solutions (yeah that's my friend's handle on Steam and yes it's a weird handle - probably because he's actually promoting his business here) managed to direct me to a free copy of this game and since it was released fairly recently on Steam (8 June 2014) I thought I should make a start on it early so that I'd at least have some of my reviews being completed in a decent timeframe.

I haven't played the game that long but I believe I've already experienced two thirds of the game after about 1 hour. So thought it was also about time for a first impressions of the game before it started to become disingenuous.

What I like

  • Simplicity: Sometimes there is beauty in a game that's just simple to get into. I probably don't need to remind you of the game Flappy Bird for mobiles but I'll do it anyway. In the game Flappy Bird, you only needed to tap your finger on the screen in order to make your bird flap its wings once. That was it. Navigating the bird through the pipes successfully however was where the real challenge was at. I think Dead Bits manages to channel this simplicity except for a First-Person Shooter. It's no Half-Life but when you think about it, the basics are the same - i.e. shooting zombie-like creatures, solving jumping puzzles and traversing around hazardous environments. Only difference is the quality and duration of the game (at least it's looking to be really short).
  • Soundtrack: I never was a big fan of dubstep but perhaps a combination of listening to it more over the years has made me appreciate it more - or Dead Bits' soundtrack happens to be one of the exceptions (i.e. one of the dubstep soundtracks I actually like). Maybe because it manages to merge 8-bit chiptunes with dubstep? Anyway, definitely one of the stronger points with the game and I can see why they decided to sell the soundtrack separately.

What I don't like

  • Too short: The game is looking to be really short. I've spent one hour playing and it looks like I'm 2/3 of the way through the game (provided that the game has only 9 levels). For a really competent FPS player it'd probably not even take an hour to finish the entire game.
  • Very basic graphics: Well just look at them. Apparently the game was designed in Unity and no offence to the developer, but it looks like a school project. Hmmm maybe it was and he/she is trying to make some money out of it? :) Anyway, apparently the reason for the basic graphics was to make it have a "retro" look but cynics are obviously not going to buy into that excuse.
  • Very basic gameplay: So far I've only come across four weapons in the game: a sub-machine gun, a shotgun, a melee weapon and some ray gun. You also don't need to worry about reloading - so very basic by FPS standards.
  • No checkpoints: Your progress is saved after you complete each level but your progress is not saved within the level. This isn't too much of a problem on the easier early levels, but can be slightly annoying later on. Oh well, at least it lengthens the duration of the game I suppose...
  • Volume control: I found that setting the volume control while in a level doesn't apply the settings to the entire game. This has resulted in many times where I've failed a level only to have my eardrums blasted with music I thought had already been turned down. Minor quibble but still not very choice.


Dead Bits isn't a bad game and it seems to have an addictive hook in the Flappy Bird vein (i.e. the game isn't terribly complex or good looking, but you somehow want to keep retrying so you can get further). However, low production values are its ultimate downfall and the cynics amongst us are probably amazed that the developer is even asking money for this game. At the rate I'm going, I should have a full review soon.

[ LINK: Official developer website: Microblast Games ]