Bit-1 by Iskandar, Inc. icon

Bit-1 ($0.99) by Iskandar, Inc. is a retro-styled platform game for your iPhone.

Even though technology has advanced so much, it seems that there are still many people that love the retro games of yore. Bit–1 is a simple game, but with enough charm that will keep you playing until you beat it (or just give up).

The artwork in Bit–1 is simple and retro, which will most likely appease fans of the style. There is also a catchy chiptune soundtrack as well, so that it feels like the vintage gaming days never left. Since I grew up with those retro games, it certainly takes me back, and it’s much appreciated.

Bit-1 by Iskandar, Inc. screenshot

Bit–1 starts out with a short scene that is typical of what you’d find in a classic platformer – the protagonist is with the girl, and then a mysterious evil character comes and kidnaps the girl into some unknown dimension. It’s your job to go out on a quest to save her.

There is no title screen for the game, so you are put into the action right from the get-go. The controls are simple – you move your character with the arrows on the left side of the screen, and shoot/jump with the two buttons on the right, respectively. You can do a quick jump with just a tap of the button, but you can also hold down the button to perform a higher or longer jump. You will stop jumping the second you let go of the button.

On your journey through 25 levels, you will have to master the controls in order to time your jumps properly, shoot enemies, and defeat bosses. You will find power-ups in the form of what looks like a computer chip. There are three power-ups that will change your weapon: triple shot, laser beam, and a missile launcher. There is no way to tell what power-up you’re going to receive, so the element of surprise is nice.

Bit-1 by Iskandar, Inc. screenshot

The game is not easy – if you get hit by an enemy or touch them or an obstacle, you will lose health. Your health meter in the top left of the screen will deplete by half , so you can find yourself dead in two hits. There are coins to collect that are scattered throughout the level, and they will drop from defeated enemies. There’s the occasional heart that will drop as well, which will refill your health meter. Once you defeat enemies and collect coins, you get points. The end of a level is marked by a portal that you go through to advance to the next one.

You can go back to any level to replay it and attempt to beat your previous score. There is Game Center integration for leaderboards, though there are no achievements as of yet. I hope that there will be some achievements added in the future, because it would certainly add to the replay factor of the game.

I certainly enjoyed Bit–1, and despite it being a tad frustrating, I like that there’s a challenge. If you’re into retro platformers, then definitely check out Bit–1. It’s currently on sale for 50 percent off at $0.99, so grab it before the price goes back up. There is also a Lite version available that includes the first few levels for players to try.