B.I.O.T.A. – Review
Follow Genre: Action, Platforming
Developer: small bros
Publisher: Retrovibe
Platform: PC
Tested on: PC

B.I.O.T.A. – Review

Site Score
Good: Serious nostalgic feeling, Plays like a charm
Bad: Very high difficulty
User Score
(1 votes)
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VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 10.0/10 (1 vote cast)

With the rise of retro-inspired games, it now feels like the market is oversaturated and these kinds of games start failing to impress us. However, in the case of B.I.O.T.A., we almost got flashbacks to the simplistic, yet hard, games of the NES and Game Boy era. Not only does this entire game look like it was made to fit on an old cartridge, but it also boasts a wide range of color palette settings for a truly unique experience.


At the beginning of the 22nd century, a meteorite crashed in North America. The scientists who have analyzed it discovered an unknown element. This element turned out to be Viridium, a new energy source that became a key to interplanetary travel. This element ushered in a new era for humanity as it was now possible for long-distance travel across the endless boundaries of space. Mining companies competed to create new settlements all over the solar system, and their political and economical power grew to surpass even the largest nations. Mega-corporation V-Corp took control of 65% of all known Viridium fields.

Now it’s the year 2177, and in one of V-Corp’s mines on the asteroid “Frontier Horizon” a mysterious virus broke out. This virus took control of the surrounding ecosystem and created uncontrolled mutations in the local fauna and flora. This virus was called “The Agent” and a scientific team was unofficially sent to the asteroid to investigate it. Now it is your job as a member of the infamous Gemini II Squad to save Jade Fournier, a key member of the scientific expedition, and uncover the secrets of the virus, V-Corp, and everything that came along with the mysterious Viridium. As you progress, you get to talk to the remaining survivors and slowly puzzle together their findings. The story is easy to follow and holds your interest until the very end.


The game was designed to look like it came straight out of the early 90s. With its simple yet impressive 8Bit graphics it really reminds the player of the early NES days. This also means that there isn’t a tremendous amount of detail in everything, yet the various enemies, locations, and characters all look great. When you make it deeper into the asteroid, you will notice the variation in the background and the biological infestation of the research colony. One feature that this game proudly displays is the large number of different color palettes that you can use. Just like in older Game Boy emulators, you can play around with different colors. In B.I.O.T.A. you can relive those moments and choose a different color palette to match your mood, to deeper immerse yourself in the gameplay, or just pick one out that you like the best.


Just like the visuals, the sounds are equally retro. The music and sound effects all sound authentic. There is one modern touch to the game, as it has a fully voiced intro explaining the story. This is short-lived, as afterward, everything is just brought to you by text, preserving the retro vibe and not disturbing the immersion of going back thirty years in time.


B.I.O.T.A. is a 2D action game where you are part of a legendary mercenary team that was sent out on a top-secret suicide mission. You get to play as one of the characters of Gemini II, and each of the soldiers has its own stats and weapons. Early on you will learn that teamwork is essential, and swapping back and forth between characters is the easiest way to make some good progress. As you enter through the elevator, you slowly make your way through the impressive maze that is “Frontier Horizon”. Surely enough, you find multiple elevators that will take you back to the surface, and this is important as here you must heal, save your progress, and buy new equipment. The game doesn’t really have an active checkpoint system, and therefore you must rely on save points scattered inside and outside the base.

You basically go in completely blind, as you don’t know where to go, but you only know that you have to save Jade. Armed with your trusty map, you start to explore the deep corridors filled with mutants that want to kill you. Killing monsters awards you with Viridium that you can trade at the black markets scattered around the map to purchase well-wanted upgrades. Some enemies will also drop ammo or health pickups beside their Viridium deposits, but don’t always count on this as these drops are rather rare. Because of the desolation, it will feel like a relief when you finally encounter survivors. These survivors might hint at your next objective. As the game does not hold your hand and can be really difficult at first, it’s not that accessible for newcomers. Nonetheless, those who spend some time with the game may find the overall experience very rewarding.

Controlling your character is pretty easy, but surviving is not. The controls are pretty straightforward, and with the typical platforming actions, you will be traversing the corridors and jumping from platform to platform in a really fluent way. The game runs absolutely smoothly and you won’t have any issues missing your jump due to it being the game’s fault.


B.I.O.T.A. is a throwback to early videogames thanks to its hard difficulty, nostalgic graphics, and great sound design. The game manages to entertain you from its very beginning with its voice-over intro, interesting story, and explosive gameplay. The ability to change the color palettes is a really nice feature as it allows you to pick your preferred setup. Swapping between different characters is a fun way to explore which character suits you best. With the ability to strengthen your team with black market upgrades, you will get a fighting chance if you feel underpowered. If you are a fan of this genre and love a challenge, then B.I.O.T.A. is a must-have title.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 10.0/10 (1 vote cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
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B.I.O.T.A. – Review, 10.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

Never give up on a dream. It might be a long nightmare, but one day it will change into a beautiful reality - MC_JP 2014

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