Facebook games conjure up negative connotations for many gamers. They’re often seen as devoid of skill, micro-payment laden exercises in repetitive clicking. Scottish development house Ludometrics have taken a different, more traditional approach to social media gaming with their retro-tinged title, Bips!.
Currently in beta, Bips! starts off simple enough and quickly ups complexity. Using just the space bar as the only control input, players guide a ball around a hazard-filled screen, collecting pick ups and boosting their score. Hold the space bar down and your character travels towards the bottom of the screen, release and they arch upwards. Things start out slowly, but within five or six waves enemies, wall hazards and an increased game speed all add to the challenge.
The decision to use vector-styled graphics helps set Bips! apart as something that’s truly unique among other games on the Facebook apps platform. It feels like a game that should belong on a classic console, but only because its core principles align to those of years gone by: simple core mechanics; stylish, no-frills presentation; and an emphasis on topping the high score table.
Bips! makes use of its host platform by running regular worldwide and friends only tournaments that offer rewards for finishing top. So it pays to have a few mates all playing the game. Each game costs one ‘token’, and yes extra tokens can be bought through maligned micro-payments. It should be noted though that players can quite happily play a few lives each day and never need to fork out anything extra. It’s merely an option and never really feels forced onto the player at any point.
Ludometrics will release updates for Bips! periodically, adding extra content and mechanics when they see fit. This game could easily transfer onto mobile and tablet devices with the touch screen replacing the space bar. As it stands right now, Bips! shows how Facebook gaming doesn’t need to be purely for the casual laptop farmers, there’s a little slice of the action there for those of us who prefer a nod to the games of yesteryear. Give it a try, you may be pleasantly surprised.
You can play Bips! through your Facebook account here.