Sean and the Bastards have entered the Bitrealm, and so far it hasn’t been all 1-Ups and treasure. They’ve tracked Pliny down to a castle in the mountains to the north, and they’ll need every bit of their skills, honed while playing some of the first and greatest video games, to survive its depths.
But it won’t be easy. The castle soon takes its toll, separating the party and pitting them against some of the most dangerous creatures they’ve faced yet—creatures that may not be what they seem. Something has been tormenting the souls of Afterall, transforming them into shadows of their former selves. And with every twist and turn the castle throws at them, that something is getting closer.
Add in a devious AI, a skeleton who’s watched too much TV, and more retro gaming goodness than you can shake a joystick at, and you have Eight-Bit Bastards: Level Two.
My Opinion: 222 pages, $2.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited
I enjoyed book 1, but book 2 loses me. There’s simply not very much RPG progression this time, with most of it occurring in a power leveling scene that doesn’t feel like it impacts the story. While there are still lots of 8-bit references, jokes, and puzzles that's kind of all there is. I mean, there's nothing to contrast the 8-bit stuff against like in book 1. In book 1, the story started out with a very interesting history of this vast and varied virtual world as all the characters were introduced. This time, nothing like that exists. Instead the novel shifts to this cyberpunk storyline that just didn't work for me.
Overall, I enjoyed the jokes and the old school gaming references, but it wasn’t enough to carry the story for me when there was such limited action, even more limited RPG progression, and a cyberpunk twist to the story that I didn’t enjoy.
Score: 6 out of 10