Game Reviews

Raging Bytes review - "Facing '70s zombies in '70s USA"

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Raging Bytes review - "Facing '70s zombies in '70s USA"

Although the zombie hype ended years ago, zombie games still tend to do fairly well, and I'll always be down to fight against legions of the undead. To do so in Raging Bytes by KEMCO, you'll need to go back in time. It's a 2D pixel-art RPG experience about survivors trying to survive hordes of humans-turned-monsters. The game requires you to explore in order to gather resources and tools, while fighting zombies will net you additional goods and necessary EXP to make your team stronger. Be warned though as each fight carries a certain amount of risk that all of your teammates may not return from.

What's with the Raging Bytes?

Birthday in Raging Bytes

At this point when you hear the word "zombie", you can take a good guess at what the story behind it might be. In Raging Bytes, it's the same old story with some interesting tricks tossed in. The year is 1978, and following a successful mission to the moon, the astronauts return to become the epicentre of a viral outbreak. Within weeks, the virus has consumed the nation with a majority of people being turned into bloodthirsty monsters. The personal story starts with a police officer named Ben who awakens in an abandoned hospital following a car accident. As he learns what happens and meets fellow survivors like Barbra and Helen, Ben becomes determined to find his daughter and help the others find their loved ones as well.

Feeding the Raging Bytes

Battling a zombie in Raging Bytes

"Do not feed the zombies" goes without saying, but sometimes you've just gotta bust some heads. Raging Bytes provides a solid and exciting platform in which to do that. First off, it executes the RPG element very well. When exploring the overworld, all potential zombie enemies are visible and you can choose to pick them off individually, in groups, or avoid them altogether. This even applies to certain special zombies that you can risk fighting for great rewards, EXP, and lore, or just be on your merry way. There's also a surprising number of nooks and crannies to investigate and elements to unlock if you have the willingness to search and brave potentially fatal battles.

This leads to the next effective element which is how the zombie element is treated. It's accepted at this point that a zombie game usually depicts zombies in a way where as long as you've got health and weapons, you can just plough right in. While this game definitely gives you a lot to work with, a party of characters, and turn-based pacing, even the weakest zombies can be dangerous. All it takes is one good hit and a character can go down for the count requiring you to use a fair amount of resources to revive them. Even fighting a zombie at close range injures your characters in exchange for knockback and heavy damage. This makes grinding a risk that you are choosing to undertake with no guarantees that things will go smoothly, just like how it would be in an actual zombie outbreak.

Treating the Raging Bytes

Character wandering through sewers

If you get bitten by a zombie, there's pretty much nothing you can do aside from trying to reduce the amount of pain. Raging Bytes will bite you in a way that will hurt more than any treatment can help. It's so aggressive in how much damage zombies will deal to you that it's very difficult to feel strong. There isn't much you can do in terms of providing armour or protection to your characters with levelling up really only affecting their health and damage output. You can't upgrade their abilities in meaningful ways which makes levelling up feel less powerful than in other RPGs. This is a pretty big problem in a game where any fight you decide to enter has the chance to end your adventure.

Raging with Raging Bytes

Story notes with a handgun and other items in the background

Raging Bytes is a 2D pixel-art RPG game about a group of unlikely survivors looking for others in a zombie-filled world. It combines classic RPG elements with the brutality of the zombie theme in creative, challenging, and engaging ways. It can be a bit too brutal which makes it hard for you and your characters to feel empowered. The story may be the usual, but there's good gameplay and personal elements for you to take a raging bite.

Raging Bytes review - "Facing '70s zombies in '70s USA"

Zombie games continue to thrive with Raging Bytes showing such fun with the '70s setting, RPG mechanics, and an almost too-harsh danger.