May 29, 2024
Boti: Byteland Overclocked is a 3D adventure platformer. Does it overclock our expectations? The Finger Guns review:

I find it so ironic that a game that revolves around computers, hardware and technology has ultimately been the buggiest, most broken game I have played all year. The biggest shame of all is that Boti: Byteland Overclocked is clearly a fan of Mortal Kombat, because the amount of fatalities (read: fatal errors causing it to crash and completely freeze) were many. 

I always have big respect for any game that gives reviewers the chance to properly sink into the game, to give space to explore and enjoy what the game is truly about and how it plays. I was given Boti: Byteland Overclocked well in advance of its embargo – something I truly appreciate. It allows me to take my time, to not make any undue or rushed opinions and encourages me to appreciate what it offers. The thing with that is, the game actually has to play. 

On the Fritz

For the first week, Boti: Byteland Overclocked was unplayable. Within an hour, I started the tutorial three times, and eventually couldn’t move the camera without feeling like the whole game had been placed in Jelly and some spoilt kid was shaking the bowl vigorously. I am always up for being proven wrong and did everything my end to ensure this was not my laptop, but alas it was not. 

These things can happen and I was grateful to have the time to be able to wait and see if there were any updates on the game. A few days later, the game played, but I had loaded into a completely different area than I initially recognised. The game instantly froze, crashed and burned once again. Fast forward just over a week and I am actually able to jump in (not crash free, but I can move and the camera doesn’t kick off). 

It’s always a shame that I have to preface any review with telling anyone reading that the game just isn’t ready. Boti: Byteland Overclocked is however, just not ready. What is a massive shame is that for the short periods of time I was able to play, I actually got really into it. The game – when fully functional – has great platforming elements, interesting bits to do with the levels such as sliding mechanics and getting perfect scores, and a bit of a collect-a-thon per level. 

Glitch In the Matrix

Boti: Byteland Overclocked works in collecting megabytes (MBs) to power many different things throughout the level, acting as your currency like Crash’s apples, or Spryo’s gems. Speaking of those titular old school characters, Boti: Byteland Overclocked does have a sense of those nostalgic platformer vibes, drawing on well loved and successful elements of that. I do believe however, that the game confuses those elements and they don’t quite live up to other platform adventures in the genre.

For example, there are more things to collect such as ‘botcoins’. I think I have managed to get at least over half way into the game, if not more, and not once has it been explained what these actually are, or if there is any purpose to collecting them. At least in other platformers, they might relate to the story in some way, or be an added bonus at the end. There are also other elements like botcoins hidden on the map. It feels like they are there for the sake of just finding them. Which is fine, if it is one thing, but if there are just multiple elements of nothing to find for nothing sake, then I don’t see the purpose.

I’m not sure I get the motivation in why you would want to spend longer on the level to truly search for them if you don’t even have a slight backstory of why you would be getting them in the first place? At least in Sonic you know the coloured gems are based on time trials, or collecting everything without dying for instance; goals to work towards. 

Boti: Byteland Overclocked also doesn’t seem to be able to completely decide if it wants to have a hub world with loads of levels, or be one linear game. It has kind of mashed the two together. At first it points itself to a hub world with loads of levels to potentially dip in and out of, but then when you finish the level, it will jump straight into the next and present itself as a very linear adventure with a finite end to each level. When finishing a level, you will be given a sort of ‘Angry Birds’ esq summary. You can reach 3 stars depending on how much MB you’ve collected throughout the level . Whilst it also keeps track of how many botcoins and other collectables you may have discovered. 

Decrypt

The story for Boti: Byteland Overclocked is also one that is interesting, as long as the game allows you to follow it. Boti: Byteland Overclocked follows Boti, a new robot in town who is being trained by Zero and One to be shown the ropes. Boti is there to follow the course of other bots and gather data. The mayor-like figure of the land has gone missing, and it is not clear whether he has vanished of his own volition, or was taken and kidnapped. Interestingly, I am pretty sure during the exact moment the ‘who dunnit’ reveal was shown, I weirdly lost all sound and it also happened to be the exact moment the subtitles decided not to show also. So I would LOVE to sit here and say, “yes, this was a predictable/unpredictable conclusion to the mystery”, but from visuals alone, I simply don’t have a clue. 

Zero and One are little robot sidekicks and are actually a very pleasant part of Boti: Byteland Overclocked. You have one very sassy, sarcastic character and one that just praises and shouts excitement about purely everything. They work well together, and are quite hilarious in their own right. Zero and One, however, were about the only characters that would actually speak to me. Everyone else I attempted to interact with their dialogue would flash upon the screen in a sudden quick stint. There was one where it had given me a task, and I had to just keep talking to the character to quickly try and read this as quickly as possible to figure out what on earth I was doing.

Without Zero and One and the cut scenes, the game can become oddly quiet dialogue wise. The only complaint I had with Zero and One is again – surprise, another glitch. In some areas they would repeat themselves RELENTLESSLY every time my camera caught the slightest glimpse of an alarm bot; a bot that when you enter its sensor can kill you. 

Enemy combat in Boti: Byteland Overclocked is pretty basic, but it is all you need in an adventure platformer. A simple button bashing technique that kills all enemies. You can ‘die’ in Boti: Byteland Overclocked but you will be sent back to a checkpoint. There are many different types of enemies that can be killed by finding their weakspot, or just button bashing them to their demise and even a boss battle or two. Interestingly, I had no issues with combat, it was pretty clean. 

Rock Boti

In conclusion, whilst Boti: Byteland Overclocked has some very small enjoyable elements it’s difficult to recommend in its current state. It is exactly the opposite as the title suggests: it’s a bit of a broken mess. I couldn’t finish a level without the whole system crashing, and eventually I couldn’t get past a game-breaking bug that wouldn’t stop repeating no matter which way I tried – restricting my ability to finish the last few levels of the game.

Despite being given a bug list beforehand, I ran into many multiple bugs, hiccups and crashes that were not mentioned. Invisible walls, texture popping, freezing, fatal crashes, getting stuck in the environment, clipping, camera bugs, text bugs. It would frankly be boring to describe and have people read each one. When some levels run up to 30 minutes in gameplay time, to have to re-do that makes for more work than play. 

If resolved, the game would be a fun addition to the adventure platformer genre for casual gamers. It is something that I could see best for console gaming. Hopefully they add controller support, as whilst there is little intricacy in the platforming, not everyone feels comfortable (myself included) with keyboard controls. Right now however? Boti has a lot of hardware to be fixing in his own game.


Boti: Byteland Overclocked is ironically the opposite of its own namesake in being overclocked. Full of game breaking bugs, freezes, clipping, the list goes on – you name it it’s in there. Whilst having some small enjoyable elements within the game,  It’s difficult to get past its state at review. 

Boti: Byteland Overclocked is available on PC September 15th 2023.

Developer: Purple Ray Studio
Publisher: Untold Tales

Disclaimer: In order to complete this review, we were provided with a promotional copy of the game. For our full review policy, please go here.

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