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Bit.Trip, formally spelled BIT.TRIP, is a series of video games developed by Gaijin Games and published by Aksys Games for WiiWare. Each game revolves around the adventures of a character named "Commander Video", and features "a crazy mix of 80s aesthetics and modern game design". Each game in the series features a chiptune-inspired soundtrack, but a different style of rhythm-based gameplay in each. Beat, Core and Void each contain three distinct levels, each one ending in a unique boss battle. Most bosses are based on various games and game genres from the early Atari era. Bit.Trip Beat, Core and Void each cost 600 Wii points while Bit.Trip Runner costs 800 points.
Six Bit.Trip games are intended to be released in total. The first, Bit.Trip Beat, announced in January 2009 was released in North America on March 16, 2009.
Games[edit | edit source]
Bit.Trip Beat[edit | edit source]
Reminiscent of the classic video game Pong, Bit.Trip Beat involves players moving an onscreen paddle in order to bounce off waves of incoming blocks to the beat of the music. As the player progresses through the game, the patterns of blocks become increasingly complex, but players can judge how well they are doing through changes in the graphics and music. The game is played by tilting the Wii Remote to move the paddle. Bit.Trip Beat also features up to 4-player cooperative multiplayer.
In October 2009, Gaijin Games released the soundtrack to Bit.Trip Beat as a digital download, first on CDBaby and then on other major music stores.  The soundtrack features over 19 minutes of chiptunes from the game.
Bit.Trip Core[edit | edit source]
The second game in the series, Bit.Trip Core, continues the rhythm based gameplay of the series. The gameplay involves players taking control of a plus shape in the middle of the screen that can fire a laser beam in only four directions (up, down, left and right), with the objective being to destroy patterns of blocks that zoom across the screen. As with the first game, as the player progresses through the game the patterns of blocks become increasingly complex, with changes in the graphics and music occurring based on how well they play.
In March 2010, Gaijin Games released the soundtrack to Bit.Trip Core as a digital download, first on CDBaby, and iTunes, then other major music stores. Despite featuring the same proportion of levels as Bit.Trip Beat, Core's soundtrack is substantially smaller, with less than 15 minutes of music.
Bit.Trip Void[edit | edit source]
Released in late 2009, Bit.Trip Void puts players in control of the "void", a black, pixelated circle, which players move around the screen with 8-directional control. The void grows with each black block it touches and must avoid increasingly-challenging waves of white blocks. Void features music by guest composer Nullsleep, and its levels are named after Sigmund Freud's three parts of the human psyche.
The soundtrack to Bit.Trip Void was announced on May, 2010, and is now available on CDBaby, as well as through iTunes and Amazon.
Bit.Trip Runner[edit | edit source]
Bit.Trip Runner is the fourth installment of the Bit.Trip series. Runner features over 50 levels. The gameplay involves controlling Commander Video and making him jump, slide, kick, and more through various obstacles in his path. The special guest band Anamanaguchi provides menu and credits music. Though it has over 50 levels, breaking the 3 level norm of the last games, these levels are divided evenly amongst 3 zones, which each have their own distinct background and musical feel; each zone houses twelve levels, including a boss level. For every level (except boss levels) there is a retro challenge awarded should the player collect all gold bars in the normal level. Each retro challenge is harder than the normal level and usually has more gold bars. The perfect completion of a retro challenge will award players with an exclamation point beside the stage and the word "PERFECT" beside the score in the scoreboard, but only if they have done everything "extra" (i.e., jumping on top of springboards that they don't need to in order to finish) in the level beforehand.
Bit.Trip Fate[edit | edit source]
Bit.Trip Fate is the fifth installment of the series. It is a rhythm shooter, or shmup. It was formally announced on September the 4th, at the Penny Arcade Expo, in the Destructoid LIVE booth. It is expected to be released on WiiWare fall of 2010.
Reception[edit | edit source]
Throughout the series, the Bit.Trip games have enjoyed positive critical reception. IGN gave Bit.Trip Beat an 8/10, praising the presentation of the game but lamenting the lack of online leaderboards.
Marketing[edit | edit source]
In order to promote the first game, a viral marketing campaign and alternate reality game was launched, revolving around the mystery surrounding the Commander Video character. The campaign revolved around internet videos and "missions" sent out by The Commander, which involved spreading word about the game, uncovering information about it and creating a Wikipedia entry.
See also[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]
- Aksys Games announces Bit.Trip Beat
- Interview with Alex Neuse of Gaijin Games, creators of Bit.Trip
- Bit.Trip: Beat Coming To WiiWare
- Bit.Trip Core Hands-On
- Gaijin Games Announces BIT.TIP VOID
- IGN review
- IGN: "Who is the Commander?"