This Week in Steam Sales: Bit Blaster XL
Bit Blaster XL is a top-down arena shoot-em-up that’s always in motion. Unlike many shooters, where ships stop and start instantaneously in ways that would make Newton tear his hair out, in Bit Blaster XL your ship never stops moving. You can slow it down or speed it up, but it never stops moving. The game therefore feels a lot like a stripped down version of Luftrausers, where fights are resolved not by zig-zagging through enemy hordes, but by circular dogfights around groups of enemies. The interesting twist is that, unlike most other shoot-em-ups, your ammo is limited and needs to be replenished with item drops from enemies. Furthermore, your ship is set to autofire by default, meaning that your ammo will slowly drain no matter what. Like Geoms from the Geometry Wars games, this mechanic encourages you to move fast and get close to your target, or risk running out of fire. It provides a nice risk and reward mechanic. You can turn the autofire off in the settings, but it makes the game far less challenging, and doesn’t feel very well-tuned to the rest of the game.
Verdict: Yes. It’s a solid little shooter with some interesting ideas. Worth a whopping half a dollar.