Firebat Revolution Review – A retro-style brick breaker filled with creativity and cool ideas

Gare – Friday, June 21, 2024 4:28 PM
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The genre of brick breaker video games is as old as time itself – a genre that most people probably associate with oldschool, tried-and-true titles like Breakout and the original Arkanoid. Needless to say, I approached Firebat Revolution, an absolute love letter to that bygone era of gaming, with ample curiosity; as I wrote in my initial coverage of the project, Firebat Revolution does a great job of authentically recreating the style and feel of a game that could’ve come out for PC in the mid-1990s. Now, as we all know, looks aren’t everything – but thankfully, I’m more than happy to report that developer LtCoyote’s nostalgia-fueled project has managed to create a formula that is both enjoyable and sufficiently addictive.

Brick breaker extraordinaire

Firebat Revolution is structured as a series of levels scattered about on a fairly sizeable world map – you play as a titular Firebat and embark on a dangerous quest to free your brethren from the oppression of the evil Morningstar and his lieutenants. In practice, this means following the path laid out to you on the world map, and when you get to a level, you go in and start bouncing some balls and breaking some bricks. Simple enough, right? But here’s the thing: no two level is exactly the same. And I don’t just mean this in a visual sense, although the many stages available in the game do feature a variety of distinct color schemes; going several steps further, they also give players different challenges to overcome, sometimes within a time limit. Although finding its roots in the classic brick breaker genre, Firebat Revolution skillfully evolves the concept, always inventing new ways to turn things on their head; on one level, you could be pressing switches with your orb to open doors and reveal bricks, on another, you might have to navigate the ball through a tiny maze in order to get to your objective. There are levels with boss fights, levels that play like a 2D spaceship game, and levels that have you solve mini-puzzles in order to advance – the possibilities seem almost endless, and there’s never a dull moment with the game.

A vibrant underworld

It’s also worth noting that some levels will initially prove seemingly impossible to complete within the allotted time limit, but there’s a very good reason for this – it’s the game’s way of incentivizing you to obtain key upgrades. Upgrades in Firebat Revolution are unlocked by spending so-called Fire Pearls, a currency that is earned by finding and successfully completing hidden levels across the map. Generally, the game will give you a few hints so you can find these hidden levels on your own, and once you complete them, you get a Fire Pearl. The upgrades you unlock generally make your ball more powerful in various ways (such as making it emit large explosions, for example), allowing it to break bricks faster and more efficiently, which, as you can probably imagine, makes it possible for you to clear levels and bosses previously thought undefeatable. The game is very thoughtfully designed in that regard, with levels that prove just slightly too difficult to be done without this or that upgrade; this usually creates a state of affairs that gently nudges the player in the direction of unlocking more hidden levels and Fire Pearls, thus helping them see more and more of the vast amount of creative effort that’s gone into the project. Either way, I say this partially because it may cause unaware players some frustration when they run into a metaphorical (and literal!) brick wall and get stuck on a level that’s very much meant to be tackled with upgrades. There’s also a pleasantly palpable feeling of progression throughout the campaign, and it feels great to become gradually more powerful and zoom through certain levels with all the fancy new orb abilities you accumulate during your adventures.

Viva la Revolution

All in all, I had a tremendously good time playing through Firebat Revolution. It’s clearly a passion project made with love and care, which most certainly shows in the final product – its visual presentation is top-notch, and its level design will have you constantly facing new and varied challenges. If that alone wasn’t enough, Firebat Revolution absolutely kills it with its soundtrack, too: if you’re a fan of classic, demoscene-style tunes, this game will have you bobbing your head to many of the instrumental songs playing during each level. Long story short: Firebat Revolution is a well-made, endlessly cozy homage to a classic genre, and is a game I can wholeheartedly recommend to retro enthusiasts both old and new. Two thumbs up.

Firebat Revolution is available on

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