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If you took Asteroids, gave it a retro text-terminal menu along with a huge skill tree and some slick music what do you get? BYTEPATH [Steam].

It might not seem like much on the surface, but boiling below is actually a rather good arcade shooter full of character. There's quite a lot of customisation on offer through different classes, different ships, a big skill tree and so on.

Disclosure: Key provided by the developer.

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The skill tree is a little on the ridiculous side, I've seen a few in my time testing games, but this is just insanity. Seriously there's over 900 nodes to unlock just look at this madness:

That might seem a little daunting, but it's actually really quite simple. It's just an upgrade tree, with you picking the exact nodes you want to unlock using "SP" points gained by playing the game. Gaining SP is pretty easy too, as they spawn in the battles rather frequently. You can end up creating quite a monster of a ship thanks to such a huge upgrade tree.

Not only that, but there's also a classes system too. Using the same SP points system, you can also pick various classes with various bonuses. Some come with downsides and the interface here could use a little work, especially as you cannot currently check your existing class bonuses for example:

If that's not enough, there's also a ton of different ships you can unlock as well. They're all different too, each with their own set of unique statistics and modifiers and there's at least to choose from.

When it comes to the actual gameplay, it's oddly relaxing at the start, but that quickly fades as the screen starts filling up with all sorts of weird enemies. You're initially only dealing with floating rocks, but eventually other ships will start appearing as you go through "cycles" (the level of difficulty).

Some ships will chase you, some will spread bullets across the screen and it becomes quite frantic. Part of what makes it frantic is that you're always moving, with no chance to stop. You can slow down and boost, if you need a bit more control over your attacks, but you also have to watch out for the screen edges as that will damage you too. Also, if you're not a fan of the glitch effects and screen shake, they can also be completely turned off.

If you're a fan of arcade shooters, but you fancy something perhaps a little more modern that's still full of retro touches then BYTEPATH is a perfect fit for you. I've seriously enjoyed it, very surprising. Find it on Steam.

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I am the owner of GamingOnLinux. After discovering Linux back in the days of Mandrake in 2003, I constantly came back to check on the progress of Linux until Ubuntu appeared on the scene and it helped me to really love it. You can reach me easily by emailing GamingOnLinux directly.
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1 comment

NotSoQT 26 Feb, 2018
This one was developed with LÖVE. I kinda got Spellrazor feelings while looking at it.

There's a blog available for those wondering how this was developed, definitely it's worth a check:
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