Throwback Friday: The Bitmap Bros Part 2


Well it’s Throwback Friday again today and as promised here is the second half of my Bitmap Brothers piece. Hope you enjoy it.

Whenever The Bitmap Brothers are mentioned to the more mature gamer, one game above all others will come up. That game is The Chaos Engine, an isometrically viewed shoot’em up that bears all the graphical trademarks that make all the Bitmap Brothers game stand out. The Chaos engine was unlike any other game I had played to that point. At first glance it’s just another shooter, but look beyond that and you find it has RPG leanings. Starting the game the player has £6000 to spend on two of the six mercs which all have different prices, characteristics and weapons. The characters had a great design to them and were the Mercenary, Gentleman, Brigand, Preacher, Navvie and the Thug. During play gold would be dropped by the myriad of enemies which could be used to upgrade weapons, items and character stats. Having an AI controlled team mate was fun but the game really shone through with co-op. Me and my mate played The Chaos Engine for hours and hours at a time and like most other Bitmap Brothers games it was brutally tough. I will always have great memories of the Chaos Engine and would love to see it re-released on PSN and XBLA.

The Chaos Engine

Last but far from least is Gods. Gods was a side scrolling platformer which at the time was a stunning looking game. You controlled Hercules on his quest for immortality through a collection of devious dungeons. Again the Bitmap Brothers gave us huge array of weapons and power-ups to play around with. Weapons like knives where thrown as projectiles and picking up more of the same weapon would increase the amount you threw up to a maximum of three. Not only that but new weapon arcs could be picked up or bought from the friendly shopkeeper. These arcs changed the way your knives or throwing stars flew. There was a focused fire which threw all weapons in a close group straight forward that was great for taking down the tougher enemies and two more that opened up your projectiles until you could fire one forwards and the other two straight up and down. This really helped out through the levels as monsters became more and more devious, coming at you from all angles. Puzzles involved a lot of switch pulling and to-ing and fro-ing through the maze like levels and often rewards could be gained from secret areas which helped you with health and often gems which could be spent in the shop.

Gods screenie

The Bitmap Brothers have made some of my all-time favourite games and made many more than I talked about over the last couple of weeks. Their distinct visual style and fabulous music scores helped elevate them far and above a lot of other games developers. The Bitmap Brothers are still about and many of their titles are still available. Their most recent title World War 2: Frontline Command came out in 2003 and was a war themed RTS that got decent reviews. I for one though hope that is not the last we hear The Bitmap Brothers and would love for them to bring more of their classic games to consoles.

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