Overclocked, while an enjoyable platformer, falls short on ambition and execution, leaving players wanting more. The game boasts a visually appealing design, smooth gameplay, and immersive sound effects, but it fails to take risks or introduce innovative elements. Despite its initial promise, Overclocked hesitates to explore new ideas or push boundaries, resulting in a game that ultimately feels lacking. While it offers a satisfactory experience, it leaves players feeling unsatisfied and yearning for a more daring and adventurous gameplay experience.
Boti: Byteland Overclocked, a 3D platformer, stands out in the overcrowded indie gaming scene. While the platformer genre is abundant with offerings, the 3D platformer variety is a rarity that is often celebrated. With each new release, the unique nature of these games shines through. Boti: Byteland Overclocked is no exception, as its 3D platformer mechanics make it a standout among its peers.
The game takes players on an exhilarating journey through a vibrant and imaginative world, filled with challenging obstacles and hidden secrets. The innovative gameplay mechanics and stunning visuals make Boti: Byteland Overclocked a truly special addition to the indie gaming landscape.
At first glance, the game may seem simple, without any groundbreaking promises beyond the core elements of a solid 3D platformer. Yet, it manages to master those basics flawlessly and introduces a few fresh concepts that add to its appeal. Personally, I believe that a platformer should deliver on these fronts, and this game certainly does. Its potential is immense, especially with its incredibly cool concept of delving into the inner workings of a computer. However, the true measure of success lies in its execution, and that is what will ultimately determine its worth.
Visual Design: Average Aesthetics
The visuals of Boti: Byteland are not particularly remarkable, but they are also not offensive or disappointing. They are simply average and acceptable. Although this may seem like a neutral stance, I find myself unable to strongly criticize or praise the game's graphics. They do not stand out in any way, but they also do not detract from the overall gaming experience. Therefore, I remain on the fence, as the game does not provide me with any compelling reason to form a definitive opinion about its visuals.
The graphics in this game are rather lackluster and unimpressive. It feels as though they have taken the easy route by using pre-made models and textures in Unreal Engine. The result is a game that looks like many others, with simplistic cel shading and excessive bloom effects. What's even more disappointing is the lack of customization options for the graphics. Players are stuck with preset settings and are unable to tweak them to their liking. Overall, the graphics in this game leave much to be desired.
Turning off the bloom in video games is something I really wish I could do. It's not that I play every game with the brightness turned up to the maximum or with a blurry effect on my monitor. I just feel that sometimes the bloom can be excessive and overpowering, taking away from the overall visual experience. While the game I'm playing is alright, I can't help but wish for a more distinctive and bold art style. It's disappointing to see that it looks almost identical to Astro's Playroom on the PS5, which is essentially a tech demo. I was hoping for more creativity and uniqueness in the visual design.
The art style of this game is undeniably safe and clean, lacking any edginess or roughness. While this may prevent it from being offensive or unpleasant, it also makes it rather uninteresting. I couldn't help but imagine how much more captivating the game would be if it fully embraced a computer interior aesthetic, rather than settling for generic grass areas and buildings that failed to evoke any emotions. My mind was bursting with ideas for creative levels and unique characters, but it felt like the game lacked the capacity to fully explore them.
Gameplay Mechanics: Decent, Not Dazzling
The gameplay loop of Boti offers a sense of safety and harmlessness, but at the same time, it lacks the ability to truly captivate and engage players. It follows a simple and understandable structure, making it accessible to a wide range of players. The tasks at hand include breaking objects, engaging in simple platforming, battling enemies, and solving straightforward puzzles within expansive open levels.
The objective is to collect data, which is then utilized to unlock additional levels. While the gameplay is enjoyable and entertaining, it never quite reaches the level of being truly engaging and enthralling.
The concept of a loop in gaming has been widely popularized by games like Banjo-Kazooie or A Hat in Time. These games have successfully incorporated a loop that adds an element of fun and engagement to the gameplay. The loop is primarily based on the distribution of various collectibles throughout the levels, which in turn unlock multiple things within the game. Similarly, Boti, a game that follows this trend, offers a similar loop system.
However, in Boti, the focus of the loop is more on providing extra, unimpactful elements. These include additional leftover data for fun purchases in the hub, cosmetic upgrades for the character or house, less-than-necessary upgrades, and even some intriguing lore. While the loop in Boti may not have a significant impact on the gameplay, it adds an extra layer of enjoyment and exploration for the players.
By default, the range of moves available in the game is quite limited. The options include jumping, dashing, gliding, and attacking. Out of these, dashing is the only move that offers any sense of satisfaction, albeit with the drawback of long end-lag and the inability to maintain momentum in regular movement. However, as the game progresses, players are granted the ability to harness magnetism, which adds a whole new level of enjoyment.
This feature allows players to manipulate objects just like real magnets and even use them as grappling hooks, mimicking real-life experiences. Unfortunately, the use of magnetism is restricted to exploring specific areas, limiting its overall potential.
Exploring in this game doesn't offer much of a reward as the incentives are limited to mildly enjoyable cosmetics or additional data. While moving around is perfectly functional, it lacks the excitement or entertainment value that would make it truly captivating. Everything about the gameplay is good, acceptable, and inoffensive, but it becomes evident that there is a pattern of mediocrity. The only standout feature is the scan function, which transforms the surroundings into flat colors, making it easier to identify enemies and objects.
The accessibility feature in this game is truly wonderful, as it not only provides convenience but also makes navigating the virtual world and solving puzzles much simpler. It is refreshing to see a game that is willing to take risks and introduce innovative features rather than playing it safe. As someone with poor vision, I am particularly grateful for this addition.
However, despite the game's refined gameplay, it lacks a certain spark and confidence. It feels like a musician playing all the right notes but with a lack of passion and volume. With a little more enthusiasm, this game has the potential to be so much more impactful.
The multiplayer aspect of the game is a bit of a mixed bag. Local multiplayer can be challenging to set up due to Steam Input defaulting to keyboard inputs, which can be frustrating. However, it is possible that I am simply not adept at navigating this feature, so it may not be an issue for others. When local or online multiplayer does work, it is an okay experience.
The gameplay mostly consists of running around the levels with your partner and engaging in magnetic shenanigans, which can make collecting things faster and add a bit of excitement to the overall experience. While it may not be a groundbreaking addition, it does provide a small but enjoyable element to spice up the gameplay.
Progression in Boti Byteland Overclocked
Progression in Boti's Byteland is unlike any other game I have played before. The game follows a linear structure, with each level increasing in difficulty slightly. However, what sets this game apart is its reliance on unique level-based gimmicks rather than pure platforming challenges. While I personally wished for a greater level of difficulty, I still thoroughly enjoyed playing through each stage.
One interesting aspect of the game is that even if you die to a boss, their health won't reset, allowing you to still emerge victorious. Overall, despite its unique progression system, Boti's Byteland provided me with a lot of fun and memorable experiences in each level.
In this game, although there are a few boss fights, they lack the depth and complexity seen in the rest of the combat. While the general button-mashing combat throughout the game is enjoyable, the boss fights rely heavily on gimmicks. For instance, there is a boss called the Trojan Horse, which, as expected, is quite corny.
To defeat it, players must target and destroy its legs using magnet-pulled cannons. While the variations in boss fights are appreciated, it becomes evident that the game focuses more on these gimmicks rather than challenging players with advanced techniques, which I personally find disappointing. I crave a bit more depth and skill-testing gameplay in the boss encounters.
Soundtrack: Synthesized Harmony
Boti’s soundtrack perfectly complements the game with its entirely synthesized tunes that match the levels seamlessly. While nothing stands out as a standout track, the overall quality of the music is undeniably good. Each level is accompanied by its own dedicated music, and although none of them particularly stand out, I found myself enjoying the soundtrack as a whole. In fact, I would happily listen to it on its own, as it creates a captivating atmosphere.
The soundscape of Boti's soundtrack can be compared to that of Portal 2, which is high praise. However, it's worth noting that if someone claims to remember more than three songs from the entire Portal series, they are most likely exaggerating.
In terms of general sound design, the companions One and Zero certainly bring an interesting flavor to the game. Their creatively given names add an element of intrigue to their characters. However, I must admit that more often than not, they tend to get on my nerves. Their constant need to make snarky comments on every death can become tiresome, and it feels as if they prioritize sarcasm over genuinely good jokes or charming moments.
Moreover, the repetition of their voice lines without any apparent reason only adds to the irritation. Despite this flaw, the rest of the sound design in the game is satisfactory. Nothing particularly stands out, which seems to be a recurring theme throughout the entirety of the game.
Storytelling: Nostalgic Narrative
The plot of Boti: Byteland follows the classic formula of a cartoon movie, similar to popular games like Banjo-Kazooie or Spyro. It revolves around a clear objective, which is to find a new quirky character who will guide the protagonist to a new location. The story takes the audience on a thrilling journey filled with unexpected twists and turns, as they encounter evil characters along the way. With this simple yet effective plot structure, Boti: Byteland promises to deliver an enjoyable and entertaining experience.
The writing of the game really appeals to me, and even though the plot is simple, it has a strangely nostalgic charm. It's been a while since I've come across a game that places such a strong emphasis on its characters, and it's a refreshing change of pace. Perhaps it's because I haven't actively sought out games with this kind of focus before, but I can't help but feel a wave of nostalgia wash over me.
The creators of the game clearly intended to pay homage to the classic titles of the PS1 and N64 era, and they have succeeded in capturing that same magic. As a result, I wholeheartedly embrace this throwback to the games of my youth and eagerly immerse myself in its world.
Speedrunning: Challenges and Joys
Despite my previous criticisms, I must admit that Boti's Byteland is actually quite an enjoyable game to speedrun. The ability to reset your dash by performing a short hop adds a level of precision and speed to the gameplay that can be incredibly satisfying if you can master the rhythm (which, I must confess, I struggled with). Additionally, the level gimmicks are both fun and unintrusive, making each playthrough a unique and exciting experience. These factors, along with many others, make Boti's Byteland a game that you would want to replay over and over again.
Out of the 52 achievements available in the game, I must admit that I did not manage to unlock all of them. While some can be obtained through regular gameplay, there are several that prove to be incredibly challenging. The slide levels, in particular, require a great deal of practice and patience to perfect in order to earn all the trophies. However, despite the difficulty, I find it enjoyable and rewarding to keep trying.
Additionally, the game's expansive and intricate levels offer a plethora of collectibles that can be easily missed, adding to the replay value. Moreover, the game's hub presents a wide range of unlockable items and cosmetics, providing additional goals to strive for. Overall, the combination of achievements, collectibles, and unlockables makes for a highly replayable and enjoyable experience.
In my opinion, Boti's Byteland has the potential to be a great game, especially considering that it is the first major release from Purple Ray Studio. It is not easy to get everything right on the first try, but this game manages to achieve a lot of important aspects correctly. However, it lacks the passion and ambition to go above and beyond the standards it meets, much like an essay that follows perfect MLA formatting but lacks any personal touch.
While the game is stable, well-made, and visually appealing, it lacks a distinct personality. Additionally, the new ideas introduced in the game are often only partially executed, leaving room for improvement. It is evident that the developers had the desire to do more, but were unable to fully realize their vision.
Boti: Byteland Overclocked is a fun game for those looking for a lighthearted platformer that brings back a sense of nostalgia. It's perfect if you want to relax and enjoy easy gameplay without too much of a challenge. However, for someone like me who craves more depth and excitement, I can't help but feel a longing for something more.
I yearn for the opportunity to truly explore the intricacies of a computer, like the iconic Windows XP background or jumping around files on the desktop. Games like Inscryption and Deltarune have set the bar high with their innovative and thrilling concepts of exploring a computer, and unfortunately, Byteland Overclocked falls short in comparison.
Boti: Byteland Overclocked Review
Boti: Byteland Overclocked is definitely a fun game for those who are looking for a lighthearted platformer that brings back a sense of nostalgia. It's perfect if you want to relax and enjoy some easy gameplay without too much of a challenge. However, for someone like me who craves more depth and excitement, I can't help but feel a longing for something more.