After the conclusion of the first Bit Quest game, the evil Baron von Darkbit turned his back on forty years of video game tradition and, instead of recapturing the Princess for the sequel, captured the Hero. In Bit Quest II it’s up to the Princess to defeat the Baron, rescue the Hero, restore peace to the land and set up the inevitable Bit Quest III, featuring a marriage counselor who must help the couple find happiness by building a strong relationship based on mutual trust and respect rather than the superficial thrill that comes from the endless cycle of abduction and rescue.
To rescue the Hero, the Princess must find the four magic keys that unlock Baron von Darkbit’s castle and defeat the Baron in combat. The keys are hidden in dungeons scattered throughout the land and guarded by a variety of creatures.
Controlling the Princess is simple. The joystick moves her, pressing the fire button causes her to attack with her sword. Pressing game select switches between the main action and a simple inventory screen, showing the keys found and your current location in the overworld.
The overworld itself is large and well laid out. At no point did I feel lost or like I was running around in circles. The creatures that populate the overworld and dungeons are impressive in their variety and design. Each region has monsters that are unique to it. But, despite their varied appearances, most of them behave in the same manner. With few exceptions, the creatures absentmindedly roam the screen, paying little attention to the princess. They’re so non-threatening that chasing them down to kill them almost feels sadistic unless you need one of the health balls they frequently drop, and you probably only need one because you accidentally ran into something while sadistically chasing it down to kill it.
Despite this, Bit Quest II is still a very enjoyable game. The world is fun to explore and the creatures that populate it are adorable. There are even achievements to entice you return to the game after defeating the Baron the first time. If you’re a fan of games in the mold of Adventure and The Legend of Zelda, give Bit Quest II a try. You won’t be disappointed.
Bit Quest II, along with the first Bit Quest and many other Atari 2600 games, can be downloaded for free from the Metalbabble website.