Our thoughts on Bit Pilot went through a quick progression as we played the game. First we thought, “This is it?” Then we thought, “Okay, not bad.” And finally: “Holy crap, this is awesome!”
In the tradition of extremely simple games like Asteroids and Canabalt, Bit Pilot manages to pack tons of fun into a tiny package. Here’s the setup: You control a spaceship in an enclosed area. Lasers beam across the screen and asteroids fly at you from all directions. You must avoid getting hit for as long as possible. You can snag shield powerups to help buffer your ship against the increasingly hectic spray of space obstacles, but just like in life, you always end up dead.
Back to old-skool.
A huge part of the fun is the 8-bit-style chiptunes that accompany the gameplay. These are awesome tracks, made even better because you have to work to unlock them. This is an excellent reward for playing the game, far more pleasing than a paltry spot on the smoothly-integrated leaderboards.
Our one complaint about the game is the control scheme. You drop one thumb anywhere on the screen and slide it around to make your ship move slowly. You put your other thumb down and slide both in tandem to move quickly. We would have preferred a single movement stick like in Meteor Blitz, but the two-thumb scheme isn’t clunky enough to bleed out the fun.
If you like simple, old-school gameplay and some of the best music this side of Mega Man 2, you can’t go wrong with Bit Pilot.