I feel like there's so much hype about 8bit Doves and while I didn't take a liking to it during the Jam, I was in the mood to give the game a go today. Surprisingly enough, I actually beat it under the impression that there were fifteen levels, not eight. I only collected about half the doves though, since I kept more focus on completing the levels this time.
The weird thing is that 8bit Doves doesn't make me think of any dream I have, but rather a dream that I would like to have. I dunno, maybe it's the art scheme or the music that kind of lulls you to sleep, but in a good way. I'm reminded of being inside during a rainy day, for some reason. Light drizzle to moderate rain...or maybe just before going to bed, the calm before the storm.
Both the music and the art are very simplistic, but I love just that. It's those slight changes as the chords descend down by steps. This is exactly what I think of when I hear a chord progression like this, and it's nice to see Nitrome (or a team from Nitrome) take these harmonies and use them in their most basic form. The music reminds me of "Mimiga Village" from Cave Story, probably because it uses the same chord progressions, except 8bit Doves' doesn't stray from its scheme. Oddly enough, this is also used in a part of the first Icebreaker's title theme, a small portion of Ribbit's title theme and a few other earlier releases that don't give use these harmonies for the "cute factor". Anyways, the descending chromatics have a lot of colour, and can definitely add texture and atmosphere while maintaining simplicity.
Oh yeah, and the colour scheme was easy on the eyes - a green, almost grey in tone. Maybe like those Gameboy-esque games I've played before. Particularly I loved the detail in the background: some furniture and lighting made the game feel more "at home" than in a distorted world.
The gameplay, while confusing at first, became simple to understand. I thought I had to constantly mash the keys to win levels, but the secret was to do almost the complete opposite of that: keeping calm and pressing less buttons. XD
What could have been better
There might not be anything off the top of my head that would make 8bit Doves a really bad game, but then again, I have a few quips. For instance, it would have been nice to be able to hold a key and have the protagonist take off from the start, rather than having to wait for the level to load, wait and press the arrow key. It's done in Bump Battle Royale and I think it gives a better sense of having a faster revival after death. The fadeouts in between deaths got a bit irritating, especially near the later levels and again, give the impression that the reloading time is too long.
Will I get 8bit Doves for iOS? Looking back at the game, the answer is probably yes, just to try it out. I'm kind of hoping for a less steep difficulty curve than in the Jam, and maybe some tweaks like the ones I suggested above, or at least an option to toggle them.
Regardless, enjoy these pointless polls I put up, because good night.