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Review of 8Bit Box

Game: 8Bit Box

Published: Iello Games

Designer: Frank Crittin, Grégoire Largey

Players: 3-6

Playtime: 15-40 Minutes

Synopsis:

Sit down and enjoy games inspired by the 8 Bit Games.

Game Play:

8 Bit Box is a collection of games that make use of common components. The base game comes with three small games, all of which are easy to learn and play in under a hour. Each game also has a focus on different mechanics, and can support a different number of players. Below each of the games will be explained briefly, including their play style and player count.

Pixoid:

 

Programmed Movement, 3-4 Players

Pixoid is a game reminiscent of Pac-Man. One player plays as Pixoid, who is trying to avoid the other players. Pixoid gets a point each round they survive, and has the opportunity to pick up bonus points as they move around the board. The other players play as Bugs. Bugs try to work together without communicating to corner Pixoid. After catching Pixoid, Bugs recieve the remainder of points in the pool. After 12 rounds, Pixoid wins. Then the next player will play Pixoid and the game will restart. The game takes about 15- 20 minutes to play.

Outspeed

Resource Management, 3-6 Players

Outspeed is a racing game where players are trying to be the first to the finish line. The game is player over a series of rounds. In each round players will decide one of three actions to take. Actions will allow players to move forward, gain bonus tiles or gain extra energy. Bonus tiles give a variety of benefits to the player, including additional movement speed, slowing down opponents or gaining extra fuel.

As players race forward, those left on the last track will be eliminated. Also, if players run out of fuel, they will be eliminated. Players either want to be the last one standing, or after the last round is drawn they want to be the furthest ahead. While the game is a racing game, the focus is more on resrouce management as in most games players are quickly eliminated by not balancing their resources. Outspeed takes around 30 minutes to play.

Stadium

Resource Management/ Bidding, 4 or 6 players

Stadium is a team game where players will compete against the other team to gain medals in a variety of events. During this game, players will complete 9 different events, each with different rules and victory conditions. Players have a set amount of energy to spend and must balance winning the game with having energy to compete. Teamwork is important so that players are not wasting large amounts of energy.

Players will have to bid an amount of energy to play in most of the games. The energy spent will go towards winning the players either a gold, silver or bronze medal. Gold medals are worth 4 points, Silver are worth 2 and Bronze are worth 1. After 9 rounds, the team with the most points wins the competition.

Components:

8 Bit box comes with a set of components that are communal components to be used with each of the games in the 8 Bit Box series. These components include six controllers in a variety of colors. Additionally, the game includes a set of 5 dice with a variety of symbols and purposes and a combination of white and colored cubes. All of these components are high quality, and have good visual appeal.

Each of the games comes with additional components to be used for that specific game. The components that are in the individual games include cardboard tokens, tiles and pieces. The cardboard pieces that are included in the games are not the best quality. They are difficult to punch out, and have a tendency to bend or rip. However, this does make sense because of the low cost of the games. I do worry that these components will not hold up to the test of time. Normally I would expect a game that is a family game, it holds up to the less delicate play of children.

Overview:

Positives:
  • Unique Concept
  • Provides Multiple Games
  • Supports Multiple Player Counts
  • Short and Easy to Teach
  • Family Friendly
  • Nostalgic
  • Works for Limited Tablespace
  • Good Value for Cost

Negatives:

  • Some Components Lack Quality
  • Some Games Require Consistent Breaks for Rules
  • No Solo/ 2 Player

8 Bit Box provides a unique gameplay experience. It combines video game inspiration without the need for expensive miniatures or complex rules. However, it still gives players who enjoy 8 Bit video games a sense of satisfaction. Each of the games caters to a different game play experience, which is a nice change from other game boxes which provide the same game with minor changes.

8 Bit Box is a game that provides players with variety in a small box. I could see this especially being nice for a family who is looking for a variety of games to bring on trips or other places where space may be limited. All of the games can easily be understood by children ten and under. However, it will also appeal to adults who enjoyed playing 8 Bit games growing up. Each of the titles are reminiscent of a game that was released on the NES, Atari or SG-1000.

The flexibility is also helpful when attempting to facilitate a variety of player counts. All of the games provide support for a different number of players, but each each easy to set up and adapt for. However, I would have liked to see a game that supports either solo play or 2 player supported as well. I hope to see other games that are released in the series that will support this.

While I especially enjoyed Pixoid and Outspeed, I did find that Stadium required frequent stops to read individual rules about how the game should be played. This lead to a significant amount of downtime during gameplay and made it feel disjointed. While the game provided the most variety in game play, it could have benefited from a simpler set of symbols.

Where Stadium could feel disjointed, the other two games play extremely smoothly. Turns are quick, and while there may be some analysis paralysis ( especially in Pixoid) turns take only a few seconds. The quick pace of the game may be appealing to those looking for a game with a filler feel, with slightly longer gameplay.

If you are seeking a game that provides a variety of game play styles, and supports a variety of player counts than you will likely enjoy 8 Bit Box. This game will bring back nostalgia for those who enjoy old video games. It also may appeal to players who enjoy games like Time Stories, that add different modules to game play.

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