Tested on: PC
Abduction Bit – Review
Back in the days we would go to arcades to get our video game fix. When in the late eighties the home consoles saw a revolution with the Nintendo Entertainment System, many arcades lost popularity and died a slow death. While many of us may have forgotten about some arcade games, the developers from Seep did not. They found a prototype arcade game and did their best to bring it back to live in a PC port. Are we taken on a trip to memory lane or do we get nightmares from our childhood? Time to find out in the review of Abduction Bit!
There is quite some mystery regarding this game as there is an urban myth going around. Abduction Bit would have been released in 1982 but was deemed to realistic for publishing to the masses because the revealing truth about alien abduction. The game developers found an old prototype and remade it into a new release title. This might sound a bit good to be true but there isn’t any evidence that counters this myth. (Or so the in-game text claims.)
Abduction bit plays the story of two aliens that must abduct as many humans possible for their eerie experiments. They have four locations where they can find the best specimens to take home. Once they catch a human they are shaved and their clothes are stripped off for easy transportation. That is about as much as story as there is, but remember back in the days there wasn’t really a large background to games.
To bring homage to arcade games this title is build in an old school 8-bit theme with a cool instruction booklet that shows some artwork. In-game you notice simple graphics but the animations are detailed just like back in the dayand not overdoing it in the process. If you notice closely you will see that you are playing this inside an arcade-like screen, with the possibility to add scan lines for even a better emulation. You also have the option to customize the character’s head and body color and add some flair to your extraterrestrial being. What could have been nice though was some kind of arcade cabinet art to reallygive the impression of being an arcade title.
After its initial release the developers also did bring out a free 16-bit upgrade converting the game to a slightly more colorful and detailed world.
People who played the early arcades back in the day might have noticed or remembered that there was an absence of music during gameplay. This was because of the hardware limitation of the early days. And yes the developers thought of everything to make this as authentic as possible. With the 8-bit version just having the classic sound effects from jumping, shooting, interacting etc, comes the 16-bit with a noticeable background tune and the same, but improved, effects.
Abduction Bit is an action game that represents classical arcade titles. With the simple objective to capture all the humans for your experimenting habits it is in your best interest to do this without suffering too many losses. If you want to capture a human you will first have to tranquilize him with your zapper, take notice that it does take a few seconds to charge and fire. This means it’s best to remember the people’s pattern and plan in enough time to chock him and abduct him, because the taser doesn’t have a long effect. The specimens range from various normal civilians like workers and teenager to trained personnel like the police and military. The last will not be as cooperative as the citizens so you will need to be able to dodge their attacks if you want to see another day.
On our world you will find interesting gold coins, these add to your score and when you reach a certain goal you will gain an extra life. After every five stages there is a bonus stage to grab as much wealth to bring in those lives! If you are currently thinking why you need them it is because planet Earth is a dangerous place. To make your life even harder, the people have set various traps for you and be sure not to touch them, as it means the end for your adventure.
Controlling the game is done by the arrow keys and two buttons, one to jump and one to shoot. Two players can be played on the same keyboard but it’s more advised to use a controller. The movement can be a bit stiff at some times making skill jumps hard and interactions with the UFO that beams you up also annoying.
In the 16-bit mode the maps have been worked up and changed to give you a different experience. Although it would have been interesting to see the standard maps upgraded, it might be even better that they just made new content for this mode.
For the price Abduction Bit is a fun little title that takes us back to the arcade era of the 80s and does its uttermost best to ensure a most authentic and historical correct experience. Next to the rather retro-looking 8-bit graphics, the available sound effects will surely help you get that feeling. The game comes with free DLC and the various map modes gives a lengthy playtime or a nice short break time waster.