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B.I.O.T.A. Review

B.I.O.T.A. is a 2d Metroidvania action platformer developed by Small Bros and published by Retrovibe. It provides you with that nostalgic hit that gamers of a certain generation crave with a classic 8-bit style and some damn good fun gameplay!

B.I.O.T.A – Just simple and great fun

There’s a retro sheen that you just can’t ignore. And it’s great fun too! It’s not a groundbreaking game but not everything needs to be. You have platforming, some shooting, driving some mechs and submarines. What more could you want? It keeps things simple and fun. I’m here for it.

The Game

In B.I.O.T.A., you command a group of mercenaries on a quest to investigate a mining colony infected by an alien plague. You can pick what character you want, who all have different weapons and stats. Or you can just go with the coolest looking one which is what I did. The story centres around a dodgy corporation called V-corp that might be behind the big bad alien plague. To find out though, you need to find their scientists since they might hold the key to saving the world.

As you explore the world, you get to unlock new characters. With the characters on offer though, you won’t always get to just keep playing as who you think looks cool or has the best gun. There is a robo-guy for sale in a black-market shop, which you will need at some point because there’s a nuclear reactor on your map that’s too dangerous for human activity. He costs a cool 375 poops. Yes, I said poops. The currency in the game is literally shit which is brilliant. I can still clearly remember the first time I saw an enemy drop some shit after I killed it because it made me laugh like the man-child that I am. It became even funnier once I realised that was the currency in the game.

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Like with other Metroidvania games, there’s a loop system where you regularly have to go back through areas you’ve already cleared and clear them again as you search for what you need or access areas you couldn’t previously. And helpfully, if that’s not what you want to do, using elevators you can just travel around the map with ease without backtracking. It’s helped by the enemies being fairly easy. There’s nothing too threatening with a load just hanging out and having a good time amongst themselves instead of actually attacking you. Some do present a threat but they’re mainly put out of their misery (I know, I’m assuming the aliens aren’t happy. They might be for all I know.) with a few blasts of your gun.

Bosses are a bit more of a challenge, but with predictable patterns, they won’t take you long to work out and beat.

Non-challenging enemies aren’t really a problem though. I don’t mind it at all. And there’s a save anywhere system in place which I really appreciate. Nothing worse than struggling to beat or make a jump with the correct timing only to then have to trudge through the level again to start over. A simple save anywhere system is a game-changer! You know, providing you remember to do it, although it is just a simple button click. It’s also limited to you standing in a safe zone. So no saving whilst an enemy is attacking you or when you’ve almost got a boss beat. I love this feature though and appreciate the way B.I.O.T.A. works for people who want to progress through the game rather than get stuck.

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Look & Sound

Gameplay aside, the graphics are incredible. Not in the super-rich detailed kind of incredible. More of the classic 8-bit old-school incredible. It’s a design that I love as it brings me back to my childhood. Characters still look distinct even if they do lack detail because of the style. The aliens look cool. The backdrops are stunning. B.I.O.T.A. takes the concept of 8-bit design and shows that you can create a beautiful game.

One cool feature is the ability to change the look slightly with the colour scheme. There are 54 unique 4-colour palettes to choose from (24 to start with, with more to unlock through gameplay). If you want classic GameBoy esthetics or want some vibrant retina-burning colours, then B.I.O.T.A. has you covered.

Sound-wise, it’s exactly as you’d expect. Tunes that are techno and others that sound straight out of games from the 80s and 90s, it really helps to immerse yourself into playing a game that takes you back to the retro games. It’s simple, toe-tapping music that works well with the game.

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Length & Replayability

There’s a surprising amount of gameplay on offer, where it’ll take around 10 hours to complete fully. That’s if you want to upgrade all your weapons for each member of your team.

There’s going to be a lot of fun for fans of speedrunning games. Even for fans that aren’t hardcore speedrunners, it should be possible to beat your best time on a second playthrough. The joy of running through a level while pulling off some quick-fingered skills in wall jumping and beating each boss is sure to appeal to many.

There’s plenty to enjoy in B.I.O.T.A. though, so take your time and enjoy the ride. Mix up the colour schemes and find a look that makes you love the game more than you already will do. Or go for a record time with some hot skills that make you feel like a gaming god.

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Conclusions

B.I.O.T.A. is a game that every retro gamer absolutely needs to own and play. But not just retro gamers as there’s enough fun here that it’ll be a delight for anyone. It’s a wonderful game in looks, gameplay, control and music. Sure, it’s a massive nostalgia trip, but it’s also a lot of fun that will provide hours of entertainment.

I score B.I.O.T.A. an easy 9/10. Go and play it, enjoy yourselves and give the game whatever colour scheme you want. And then come back and let me know what colour scheme you chose.

And whilst you’re here, check out my review for ITORAH as that’s a cracking game as well.

A code was kindly provided for us to review this.

We Score This Game

rating score: 9

Fantastic!

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