Bit Generations – Digidrive


Well we are slowly getting through the Bit Generations series hopefully I will have them all done before 2007!



Digidrive at first glance appears to be really complex and strange but after playing it for half an hour and working out what you have to do it becomes really addictive. It is probably closest to something like tetris or columns as it is a sorting game. The twist here is you are sorting traffic.


The game takes place on a crossroads and challenges the player to get as big a distance as possible before the meter catches him up (it is game over when it does). To do this he can sort and stack types of traffic. There are 4 lanes each which corresponds to a direction on the d-pad. Traffic drives along one lane and when it crosses the crossroads it will push into the lane ahead. By pressing a direction on the d-pad as the traffic crosses the crossroads the player can direct the traffic into a different lane. Matching vehicles in a lane will stack while a different type will push the stacked traffic back out of the lane it is in and back towards the crossroads.



The more vehicles stacked the more distance the player will get when he releases the traffic. Stacked traffic fills shapes beside the corresponding lane and as the stacked traffic increases the shape will fill up and then change starting with a triangle and adding sides each time it is full right up to a circle. The better or more full the shape when it is released the more distance on the meter. When traffic has stacked to form a shape it becomes more vulnerable to wrong sorting.



If a lane has a shape filled and a vehicle of the wrong type enters that lane not only will it force any waiting traffic to move back to the crossroads it will also split the shape. Splitting the shape will add the same amount of traffic to any other shapes on the other lanes. If there are no shapes present then the stacked vehicles are lost. Splitting traffic can be a good way to build up other lanes stacks quickly and lead to greater bonuses.



Occasionally emergency vehicles will enter the crossroads. These too can be directed. When the emergency vehicles enter a lane they will push the stacked vehicles through the lane and add them onto the distance meter. This is effectively the only way to score. The major risk reward in this game is that you have no score until traffic is pushed through by the emergency vehicles meaning that you have to balance creating a large stack with getting a score.



If you get all the lanes with a full stack simultaneously the game will enter overdrive mode. Here only vehicles which can be sorted will appear and will move faster and faster towards the lanes. No emergency vehicles will come along so this is a real chance to score massive amounts of distance!



Digidrive is initially a very confusing game (and trying to describe how it works is really tough too). But once you pass the initial confusion and ‘get’ how it works it is really addictive. The overdrive feature is a great hook as you and the game enter a blissed out state of vehicle arrangement. Its not a tetris beater but is easily a fun and rewarding puzzle game. This and Dotstream are to my mind probably the best games in the Bit Generations range.



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