8-Bit Box Review

8-Bit Box - IELLO - $45
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Game title: 8-Bit Box

Game description: Inspired by retrogaming, 8Bit Box is a board game that contains everything to recreate the sensations we all had playing classic games from the 80s. With the controllers in your hands, live a new gaming experience to share with your friends.

Overall
3.7
  • Play (Mechanics)
  • Presentation (Art/Quality)
  • Plan (Rules)

Summary

IELLO brings retro gaming to the tabletop world with their take on a cardboard gaming console. The 8-Bit Box looks like a video game system from the late ’80s/early ’90s and contains a set of shared gaming components in a box that looks like a gaming console and three games, each packaged like old-school video games.

Pros

  • Awesome packaging / design
  • Shared components
  • Great combination of games included

Cons

  • Wish there were more shared components
  • Needs more titles!

IELLO brings retro gaming to the tabletop world with their take on a cardboard gaming console. The 8-Bit Box looks like a video game system from the late ’80s/early ’90s and contains a set of shared gaming components in a box that looks like a gaming console and three games, each packaged like old-school video games.

Upon opening the box, you’ll find a console containing six cardboard controllers and a set of cubes and dice. There are also three separate boxes for the three games inspired by retro games included with the “system.” These three games are Pixoid (Pac-Man), Outspeed (F-Zero), and Stadium (Track and Field.) Each contains its own set of components specific to the game. They also use the controllers and some, or all, of the shared pieces.

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Each game features a programming element to it, with players making choices using their controllers and then using those choices to enact their actions. Pixoid has each player taking control of the title character trying to stay alive while each of the other players tries to catch them. Outspeed has players choosing different paths on a racecourse to try and boost forward while maintaining their fuel levels. Stadium has teams competing in various sporting events while keeping their energy levels up.

What’s great about these three games is that they feel very different from each other, focusing on various aspects of the 8-Bit Box system. There’s a 4th game currently available as well, titled Double Rumble. It’s a bit meatier of a title and resembles side-scrolling brawler games like Final Fight or Streets of Rage. Out of all of the currently available games, it’s by far my favorite.

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I love the packaging of each title

My two main complaints about the 8-Bit Box are that I wish there was a slightly more extensive collection of shared components. Maybe a set of tokens or coins. The other is that I fear for the future of the game system and the ability for IELLO to keep producing games for it. Often time, these types of things are experiments that fail if they don’t perform as expected. Even so, with four solid games available, the 8-Bit Box is certainly worth your attention.

I recently wrote an article about gaming systems for budget gamers. The only reason I didn’t include the 8-Bit Box was because of its slightly higher price point and a limited number of games. Honestly, I think it’s a great idea, even for budding designers to use for their titles. With excellent production value and an exciting set of games to play, the 8-Bit Box is a perfect choice for retro gamers looking for that old-school feel on the tabletop.

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