Boti: Byteland Overclocked | Windows PC Review
Boti: Byteland Overclocked, developed by Purple Ray Studio and published by Untold Tales, is a bright and colourful platform adventure. Currently exclusive to Windows PC, the game can be played solo, or with local or online co-op options.
You take on the role of Boti, an adorable little data bot who is on a quest to rid the computer world of viruses and glitches. Along the way you are accompanied by two floating friends, One and Zero. This is just the general gist that I gleaned from my playthrough, however, I generally felt that the storyline was an after-thought and it wasn’t really “given” to the player which would have transformed the adventure for me.
Boti: Byteland Overclocked doesn’t have a very steep learning curve, making it accessible for all ages and skill levels. The movement is fairly simple and none of the areas really require incredibly precise platforming and alongside this the attacks are easy to execute.
Visually, Boti is stunning and felt somewhat nostalgic as it felt like a nod to the platformers that made me fall in love with gaming many moons ago. The game is bright and vibrant and the main home world is brimming with life. Each level felt like it was unique and had its own different twists and turns which was lovely. Alongside the visuals, I found the voice lines to bring a lot of entertainment to me with the funny, dad joke quality puns. Unfortunately, this is where the fun ended for me and my friend who co-op’d our way through Byteland.
We were provided with a list of “known bugs”, however, this list didn’t cover the frustrations that myself and my co-op partner experienced. Some of them were small, or seemingly small, but they hinted to us fairly early on that there was a distinct lack of polish in the game and it gradually grew into game-breaking bugs that just made it unplayable and frustrating. After leaving the tutorial and heading into the first level there were some conveyor belts that we had to navigate our way through which became very buggy. After the section where you overclock the PC, my friend somehow progressed past the chasm in front of us, but I couldn’t and was stuck in an endless loop of jumping and falling, plagued by an insane amount of screen shake. When I finally, miraculously, got teleported towards him the screen shake became unbearable and borderline nauseating whilst I was trying to traverse the platforms ahead of me. Perhaps an option to turn off the screen shake would be preferred. At the end of each level my friend was finding that the “level complete” banner wouldn’t disappear even after we entered the next cutscene and beyond. These bugs may seem small and insignificant but for me, when the small details have lacked attention it generally tells me more than the good things. It's also important to note that these small things weren’t “problematic” in and of themselves, but combined with the bigger things that I will detail next, it shows a serious lack of finesse and attention to detail which is sad to see.
Now, let's get onto the issues that truly ruined our experience and sapped all joy from the game. Initially this wasn’t a problem, but there came a time where the audio levels went totally out the window. The background music would disappear, SFX would suddenly jump up to become deafening, background music would come back and be deafening, dialogue would be inaudible. These kinds of problems really bother me personally, especially when there was simply no reason for it on end technology wise, and it became difficult for me to chat with my friend who I was playing with, because I couldn't hear him clearly over the incredibly loud SFX. Eventually, I became so frustrated with it that I muted the game entirely.
Finally, the biggest and most game breaking issue that we encountered was an issue with the byte deposits. We were trying to get into the network area, we dropped the water levels and then as we climbed to the deposit area to progress we deposited our bytes. The game bugged for one of us, and when we came back we didn't have enough bytes to complete the area. We were thoroughly exploring EVERY area that we were in with the hope of finding new costumes and stuff, so it's fair to say we didn't miss any bytes. I quit the game and when I rejoined I had 600 bytes back, but it wouldn’t let me add them all, then it capped out and said “-96/500”. Eventually after a lot of tinkering and exiting out we managed to respawn the entire area and progress, however, this just shouldn't happen. Finally, we progressed onto the first boss, the Trojan Horse, and this exact bug happened again after defeating him. Unfortunately, this was the final nail in the coffin for Boti and we gave up.
It became incredibly difficult to appreciate much about Boti and it seemed that the more we played the more we grew to dislike it. Initially, Boti: Byteland Overclocked could have been an easy 4 out of 5, however, this just diminished more and more as we played. The game is poorly optimised, and in my opinion there's no reason why a simple platformer like this should come out and struggle to run on a RTX 3060. I don't enjoy writing reviews like this, but sometimes they are warranted due to a poor user experience. I played the game before release, and I’m hoping to see some significant changes in the near future to save Boti from the terror in Byteland. *UPDATE* I see there have been some patches released since we wrote this review, and hopefully some, if not all of the issues that we experienced, will have been addressed with them. For now though, our review and score is based on our own time with the game, which was prior to these patches being released and implemented.
Lj’s Rating: 2.5mb out of 5.
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Many thanks to Pirate PR for the Review Keys.