Boti: Byteland Overclocked is a 3D platformer from Polish developers Purple Ray Studio. A glance will invite comparisons to the PlayStation 5’s Astro’s Playroom, and for the most part delivers on its premise.
Boti is a data bot that sets out to save the cyber-landscape from bugs and viruses. He is accompanied by two companions One and Zero. Under the guidance of Kernel, Boti quickly learns about his new environment. The tutorial takes him through jumps, double jumps, gliding, and dashes while also introducing some of the game’s collectibles.
After the tutorial Kernel mentions how slow the system is and how it should be overclocked. Boti, One, and Zero head off to do that, but as tech people know there are dangers to overclocking your system. Bugs and viruses start showing up and Kernel disappears! It’s up to Boti to fix things and find Kernel.
The How Of Boti: Byteland Overclocked
That’s the basic setup for Boti: Byteland Overclocked. Getting into the nuts and bolts of the game sees Boti travelling to different parts of the PC, from the CPU and GPU to the power supply, looking for clues as to Kernel’s whereabouts and eliminating bugs and viruses.
The game looks amazing. Bright neon colours lends the environments a playfulness. That is aided by the look of the other characters. Everything is presented in a way that feels like it could be straight out of a weekend cartoon.
The music and sound design are top notch. Electronic music is mixed with the very computer-like sounds that add to the feel that this could be happening inside a PC.
Progressing further into Boti Byteland Overclocked unlocks a magnetic ability. Along with being useful for pushing and pulling blocks for puzzles, it gives Boti access to a grappling hook. Late game also sees the introduction of magnetic launch pads to send Boti flying across levels.
The levels themselves are fun to explore. They are expansive and have plenty of secrets to find, including new outfits for Boti. Other collectibles can be used to purchase items and unlock new areas on the overworld. Exploration is rewarding and meeting the various citizens of Byteland is a joy.
Overclocking Has Its Risks
Not everything is right in Boti: Byteland Overclocked. I found a couple of the features to not control as well as I would like. To use the magnetic launch pads, I had to use Boti’s pull ability to attach to the pad, then push to launch. This was fine for single pads but there are several sections that require launching and pulling to multiple pads in a row. I had difficultly pulling Boti to the next pad. With how fluid and enjoyable general play was, this issue stood out.
There is a couple of ‘boating’ sections. Generally floating controls are normal for ‘this type of ‘boating’, but like the magnetic pads, they stuck out with how strange they were to general play.
While none of them are game breaking, I encountered a few bugs during my playthrough. From little things like issues with collision detection to some death triggers missing, there were numerous small annoyances. The UI needs some work as well. I played with an Xbox controller but the button prompts that were displayed for Playstation. Occasionally parts of the UI (such as the health indicator) would disappear.
By far my biggest issue (and why I haven’t replayed the game to see if the bugs have been ironed out) is the game maxxing out my graphics card. Boti: Byteland Overclocked’s Steam page lists my graphics card (RTX 2060) as a recommended system requirement but every time I loaded a level it would jump to 100% usage. The rest of my PC performs as expected.
The bulk of my playthrough was completed a couple of weeks before release and Purple Ray Studios have been working hard fix them in time for launch on September 15. If it weren’t for my video card issue, I’d have played more.
Boti Byteland Overclocked
Overall Boti: Byteland Overclocked is a fun 3D platformer with a lot of heart. The visuals are beautiful, and the music and sound are amazing. For the most part the bugs can be ignored and players will still be entertained. The biggest issue for me is the video card issue that I experienced in my playthrough (and am still currently experiencing). I’ve been loading into the game to see if it has been resolved but at the time of this review it is still happening. As long as that problem exists, I cannot recommend the game.
Boti: Byteland Overclocked is releasing on September 15 on Steam for US$19.99 with other platforms coming in early 2024.