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Preview: Bits and Bops is Carrying the Rhythm Heaven-like Torch

I'm Home.
Bits and Bops Flipper Snapper
Image via Tempo Lab Games

I was tired. That seems to be the norm these days, especially on days when I oversleep and am forced to hit the gym in the evenings. But, I wanted to end the night with … something. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do before bed, but I knew I didn’t want to spend my precious time disassociating on TikTok. It was then that my eyes glanced to my desktop, where I saw the demo for Bits and Bops … just sitting there.

I had downloaded it a few days earlier, and was saving it for a rainy day. It was on my shortlist of desires to contribute to its Kickstarter campaign, but I missed my window. Thankfully, the demo was still available, so I made sure to download it. And, here I was: tired, exhausted, and ready for bed.

But … I decided this was the rainy day I’d been waiting for. I loaded up the Bits and Bops demo, and almost instantly, my weariness dissipated, replaced by an oh so familiar feeling.

I felt like I did upon first playing Rhythm Heaven: Fever. I was home.

Returning Home

Bits and Bops Meet & Tweet
Image via Tempo Lab Games

As I started Bits and Bops’ demo, my first and only thought was … we are in the rhythm game renaissance. I have been saying it a lot lately, but it’s true! But, in this particular case, it’d be more accurate to say that we’re in the Rhythm Heaven renaissance. Because, while Melatonin is most certainly a Rhythm Heaven-like with its short, rhythm-based levels and recap stages, Bits and Bops feels most like a Rhythm Heaven-like.

In the demo, there are three levels to pick from: Flipper Snapper, Hammer Time, and Meet & Tweet. In Flipper Snapper, you must help a cat character take photographs of a seal bouncing a beach ball. Hammer Time tasks you with hammering a series of nails to the beat, and Meet & Tweet features a cute duo of birds having a musical conversation.

Like in Rhythm Heaven, each of the levels begins with a title card, followed by a brief — but skippable — tutorial. Then, the level begins. Based on your performance, you’ll earn a score paired with a brief synopsis of how you did. It’s not a numerical score, but a one word score — Try Again, Good, or Amazing. And, despite my best efforts, it doesn’t look like you can fail stages, at least in the demo.

What We Can Expect

Bits and Bops Hammer Time
Image via Tempo Lab Games

In the demo for Bits and Bops, the level select screen is shown. But, the only levels present are the three, plus a link to visit the developers’ website. If nothing changes, it’d seem that we can expect at least 20 levels — four stages in each tier, followed by what could be a mashup stage. It could end up being more than that, but at the present we can probably expect at least that many in the final release.

It’s also interesting seeing all of the characters present on the title screen. In the demo release, we only have levels featuring the orange cat, a disembodied hand plus hammer, in addition to the yellow and blue birds. But, the title screen confirms there will be levels featuring what look to be break-dancing humans (possibly featuring an equally talented robot?), a monkey wielding a phone, and a duo of ice-skating polar bears, to name a few. It makes me even more excited to see what kinds of shenanigans these characters will get up to when the full game launches.

Release and Platforms

I can also say this: while there is no confirmed release date for Bits and Bops, I can already tell I’ll have a great time with it. It’s a simplistic experience — each of the mini-games is played using only the space bar — but there’s still enough of a challenge to keep intense gamers engaged. I can only imagine what future levels will be like, especially if there are mashup stages.

Bits and Bops has not received a release date as of writing. It will be available for PC at launch, and, according to the developers, possibly consoles. It is being developed by Tempo Lab Games.

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