8-Bit Hordes - Xbox One Review

Retro Victory

Game Info:

  • System: Xbox One, PC, PS4
  • Publisher: SOEDESCO Publishing, Petroglyph
  • Developer: Petroglyph
  • Release Date: 2/1/2019

Who it Caters to

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Have you ever noticed that despite games becoming better visually with each year and title, retro themed games still strive? That’s because retro games were the best—in their own ways—and no one truly wants to forget them. That’s why when retro is fused with modern gameplay themes you often having a winning combination in your midst. Enter 8-Bit Hordes. Developed by Petroglyph and published by SOEDESCO, 8-Bit Hordes takes the usual RTS designs seen in games like StarCraft 2 and Halo Wars and infuses the designs with that of 8-Bit sprites and graphics. Does 8-Bit Hordes hit all the right notes to make for one heck of a nostalgia trip with solid RTS gameplay or does it fall short? Continue below to read our full review of 8-Bit Hordes and see for yourself how retro can be done well in almost every genre imaginable.

What to Expect

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Inspire by retro themes, 8-Bit Hordes has players duking it out in a real time strategy game—better known as a RTS—using two factions. Players will control their two armies—the Lightbringers and DeathSworn—building their armies up to defeat their opponents. Clearly optimized for console gameplay, 8-Bit Hordes has a strong set up perfect for controllers. Players can enjoy the single player campaign choosing between either faction and or play co-op with friends on the same screen. Go online to battle with several others and see who has the true tactician mastery needed to obtain that beautiful victory screen. 8-Bit Hordes is a RTS with retro themes but its gameplay works quite well and gives an impressive amount of content for any die hard RTS fan.


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Two armies are about to engage in a battle for pure survival. The Lightbringers and the DeathSworn must clash to show their might! Choose your side and bring these armies to swift victory…or utter defeat. Who will emerge victorious?! The battle in this 8-bit world begins in 8-Bit Hordes!


8-Bit-Hordes-game-300x376 8-Bit Hordes - Xbox One Review
RTS titles continue to thrive quite well on the PC landscape. While there have been games that have tried to make RTS work on the consoles—see Halo Wars or Command and Conquer—most gamers still prefer the keyboard and mouse controls versus the simplified controller set up. 8-Bit Hordes originally was a PC title released back in 2016, but it has found its way to modern consoles in 2019. Does 8-Bit Hordes change the RTS genre all while being playable on consoles? We’re about to answer that question and more in our review of 8-Bit Hordes for the Xbox One.

8-Bit Hordes has players taking control of one of two factions as they decimate each other in various scenarios. Like most RTS titles, 8-Bit Hordes doesn’t do much to reinvent the genre, but in this case, that’s a good thing. Players will still micromanage base constructing and resourcing mining to gain troops and build their armies for both offensive tactics and defensive ones. You’ll need to upgrade each of your bases to make stronger units and to equally make your areas less likely to be decimated by an enemy army. In the long game, 8-Bit Hordes seems to mirror almost every other RTS game out there, but we do think a few things need to be mentioned to show you guys and girls this title isn’t just another RTS game.

The first most noticeable element to 8-Bit Hordes is the graphical styling. As the title suggests, 8-Bit Hordes uses a very retro themed design to really make the world and its various troops feel…well retro. Units have an almost sprite-like design—which we aren’t complaining about—and even the terrain/maps look like they could be mistaken for areas from older RPGs. Whether you choose the Lightbringers or the DeathSworn, each army will make you smile as they engage in battle that feels less realistic and more akin to old school RTS games.

As we mentioned above, RTS games tend to be shunned on consoles for the sheer fact that controlling mass amounts of units and navigating a map is easier with a traditional PC set up versus a console controller. 8-Bit Hordes developers seemed to realize this and made controlling each unit quite simple and arcade-like. When you craft a new unit—say a pikeman—you will designate that unit to one of three face buttons. When you need to use that particular unit you just click the face button and then another to have them move to a particular area or attack one. You can map up to three units at any given time and it allows 8-Bit Hordes to be accessible to almost any level of RTS player without also removing the strategy needed to make a RTS game work at its fundamental level. Controls in 8-Bit Hordes feel snappy and simple leaving you never feeling too overwhelmed and keeping the interface from being overly complex.

Lastly, 8-Bit Hordes has a ton of gameplay modes to choose from allowing a nice amount of variety to its core gameplay. Players can either fight in the single player campaign with each alliance having various missions to play or you can team up with a pal on local co-op. There’s also an extensive skirmish mode with various maps to battle on allowing you to choose your set up and see if you can beat the AI with various settings preset. Multiplayer is where 8-Bit Hordes will shine brightly for most as it allows up to several players online engaging one another on various maps. 8-Bit Hordes offers a ton of content making it a robust RTS experience unlike most console titles seen previous in the genre.

Honey's Gameplay Consensus:

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8-Bit Hordes shows gamers that RTS titles can indeed work quite well on the console without sacrificing control and strategy. While 8-Bit Hordes keeps it safe by not changing much in terms of RTS themes, there’s a nice amount of variety to its gameplay thanks to numerous modes and scenarios to enjoy. Plus, we absolutely adored the 8-Bit style seen in 8-Bit Hordes as it makes our retro nostalgia feel so much more fulfilled. If you are a fan of RTS games, we can honestly say this. Don’t hesitate to buy 8-Bit Hordes as it’s a nice priced title with a lot of style and substance.

Honey's Pros:

  • Excellent use of retro 8-Bit designs for some rather cool graphics
  • Wonderful control set up to make RTS gameplay work smooth and simple
  • Tons of modes to enjoy and scenarios to play
  • Nice price tag for a nice amount of content

Honey's Cons:

  • Don’t expect too much different from any other RTS game

Honey's Final Verdict:

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8-Bit Hordes might not reinvent the RTS wheel that has been going on for decades, but it does stand on its own in a solid way due to its retro graphics and simple—but complex—RTS gameplay. We enjoyed how well 8-Bit Hordes plays on a console despite how most RTS can be hit or miss on consoles. Plus, the ability to play with friends on the same couch or online gives 8-Bit Hordes a nice amount of longevity for fans of the genre. Are you interested in 8-Bit Hordes? Comment below why and let us also hear your thoughts about it. Be sure to keep coming back to Honey’s Anime for more game reviews and anime related articles done by us always busy bees.

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Author: Aaron

Hey everyone I’m Aaron Curbelo or Blade as I’m called by my YouTube Subscribers. I’ve been an anime/manga fan since I was a young kid. In terms of anime I have watched nearly a thousand shows and have read hundreds of manga series. I love writing and honestly was so happy to join Honey’s Anime to get a shot to write articles for such a wonderful site. I’m a firm believer in respect in the anime community being the most important embodiment we should all have. We all love anime and we have varying opinions of series but we should respect one another for those differences! Life is too precious to spend it making needless arguments in a community that should be the shining example of loving an amazing medium. I hope as a writer for Honey’s Anime I can bring you folks some amazing articles to read and enjoy!

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