During the ’80s and early ’90s when the Internet and mobile phones are not yet a thing, kids will visit the amusement centers to play their favorite arcade games. If fortunate enough, they can just stay at home and enjoy their games using their family computer and other console devices. This era is best described as the golden age of gaming. An overwhelming number of games were produced each year and most of which are pioneering a different concept and gameplay. Gaming technology rapidly evolved over the years and now, we can appreciate the highest quality and most intense gameplay using high-tech gaming consoles and mobile devices. Ironically, despite all the advancements, a lot of gamers are still craving those authentic old-school game styles. This is where retro gaming comes into action.

Generally, retrogaming is a modern way to embrace the classic and old-school games that we used to love and enjoy. It can be done in many ways. Some are using emulators to play these games on a newer gaming platform while others are developing games that capture all the classic elements. Interestingly, an Indie developer, Chaz Acheronti from San Francisco Bay Area recently launched an app game that encapsulates what this retro gaming is about. 1Bit Survivor is a retro-inspired app game that merges elements of a dungeon crawler and horror survival.


1Bit Survivor


1Bit Survivor Is a Nostalgic Gameplay

The mechanics for 1Bit Survivor are generally simple yet surprisingly hard to master, and that’s exactly what most classic games are about. The game follows the story of an outbreak that wipes out humanity and turned most of them into mutants or zombies. After 28 days, the government will use bombs to destroy the majority of the Earth to get rid of the zombies which will put you in great danger. You found a piece of hope after discovering a new companion Leo, a cat. Now, you must go to the nearest bunker to survive the catastrophe.

This journey, however, will not be easy. First, your car has a very limited fuel capacity and you must find a new tank of fuel to keep your car moving. Secondly, the world is now inhabited by mutants and you must find your way to survive them, or yet it will be over. 1Bit Survivor is notably short with only a few levels to explore. However, the game is surprisingly hard to conquer, especially the later levels that require you to establish the most effective strategy to maximize your chances of survival.

As soon as the game starts, it prompts you to a very nostalgic introduction. It quickly resembles those old-school text-based adventures that we used to enjoy during the NES era. This is even accompanied by a well-fitting piece of music to complete the nostalgic gaming experience while perfectly adding the eerie and enigmatic atmosphere to set the mood. Using the virtual arrow buttons, you can navigate around the map to explore. In order to clear a level, you must locate where the fuel container is located and you must manage to go back to where your car is located.

 The challenge comes in when you encounter mutants along the way. These creatures will chase you and you can either evade them strategically or confront them. Your character is equipped with a gun with limited ammunition and a knife. You also have limited health points. Keep in mind that you must prevent the character from being killed. Otherwise, the game will come to a quick end and you have to start the entire game back to Level 1.

You can only restore or reload ammo if you are lucky enough to find a random chest that contains such items. You can also obtain med kits from chests to restore your health. Be mindful that collecting chests is optional but will certainly provide you a great advantage to keep all your resources in great shape. Your health and your ammo will not be restored when you go to the next level so make sure to use them wisely. Overall, the key to surviving is to observe and visualize the map carefully. Mutants will only appear on your map once they are covered by your radius, so you must extremely cautious when moving around to prevent yourself from being cornered.


1Bit Survivor


A Tribute to Classic Roguelike

What really highlights 1Bit Survivor is the retrospective approach. Appearance-wise, the game is presented in a nostalgic pixel-art style that quickly reminds you of those classic arcades and SNES games, particularly those text-based and dark fantasy adventures. It is a beautiful tribute to classic roguelike and while it may not offer decent longevity, the game comes with a pure challenge that will surely put your skills and knowledge to a great test. It offers minimalistic details, a limited map to explore, and limited actions to make. To complete your retro-style game experience, 1Bit Survivor is accompanied by an old-school style of background music that brings the roguelike and eerie atmosphere to the game.

Another noteworthy feature of the game is the 2 other unlockable characters and the procedurally generated levels which give the game impressive replay value despite having few levels to explore. If you are looking for a great and nostalgic app game that allows you to embrace the classic video games that older generations of gamers used to love, 1Bit Survivor is surely a great fit for your device. Good luck and have fun!


Download 1Bit Survivor: Android / iOS