Eight-Bit Bastards: A Gamelit LitRPG retro gaming adventure

(6 customer reviews)


NOTE: Adult language

When you’ve maxed out your level, done every quest, and defeated every enemy, there’s not much left. So after seven centuries of immortality, Sean wants nothing more than to die. Afterall was touted as a paradise, an afterlife where anyone could pursue their interests, from archery to zookeeping. The gaming was the stuff of legend, but for Sean it had grown stale.

But when a woman from a past life informs him of a real, flesh-and-blood descendant that has hacked his way in, Sean finds a new purpose. The AI doesn’t take kindly to interlopers, and parks the intruder in the one realm so buggy that even the oldest, most powerful denizens of Afterall steer clear of it – the Bitrealm.

Sean must enter a land created for the original gamers, people like him who cut their teeth on some of the first video games released to the public. Will Sean brave the pixelated wilderness of Bitrealm to rescue his lost kin? Or will he fall victim to the force that has been making people vanish? One thing’s for certain, he can’t do it alone. He’s going to need a few members of his original guild.

He’s going to need some Eight-Bit Bastards.

Book Two:

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.

6 reviews for Eight-Bit Bastards: A Gamelit LitRPG retro gaming adventure

  1. Ryan Pascall

    As someone who grew up at the advent of home videogames, this book worked really well for me.
    As a lover of retro, 8-bit is my thing (not this silly pixel-art fad occurring in games today) and the idea of a group of MMORPG gamers entering an 8-bit world is my dream and the narrator was suitable exciting and animated to fit the classic game style perfectly.
    With a pretty interesting cast and a great sense of urgency due to the toil the 8-bit world took on the players, the book was a real page-turner but I do have to say that quite often the book seemed to forget it was 8-bit and described things in a far more real-world way which was quite jarring.
    With a solid, yet strangely unsatisfying ending I am looking forward to the next but the author needs to find some new tricks to pull to prevent the series becoming a one-trick-pony.

  2. David S

    I didn’t love this book, but I didn’t hate it enough to turn it off.

  3. E Bushnell

    hmm what can I say? I loved loved loved this book. I loved the narration, the 8 bit sound effects, the story line. Superb book foe light candy entertainment. Will be listening to it again and looking for more books by the author.

  4. Phillip

    I received a free review copy and am leaving a voluntary review.

    I loved it! Some things that make this LitRPG unique are that the main characters have lived in VR for 100’s of years already and have a history together. Also, they journey to an 8-bit realm based on video games from the 80’s/early 90’s (although it is still 3D). This leads to nostalgia, humorous situations, and a fresh take on the genre. If you enjoy video games from the 80’s/early 90’s and LitRPG’s, I highly recommend buying this book. It was a lot of fun!

  5. Leah Brock

    This review is also posted to Audible.

    ‘Eight-Bit Bastards’ is my first GameLit read/listen. While browsing a list of audiobooks being offered to download as review copies, I noticed this title. I wasn’t really sure what this genre entailed. I thought it was media tie-in literature of popular console/computer RPG-type games. I did some research and from what I discovered, thought it might be something I would like. I requested a free review copy and am now posting a voluntary review.

    This book is a good introduction to the GameLit genre. Perhaps moreso for people who remember playing 8-bit games in days of yore (like me). The premise involves a group of characters from an after-life virtual world who embark on a quest to find a hacker who has been trapped in the ‘Bit Realm’, a section of the virtual reality that is based on early console games.

    The story is engaging, with a lot of defeating of creatures and procuring of skills in order to level-up and improve stats. The book offers likable characters and wonderful banter and sarcasm. The plot is well thought out and believable despite the sci-fi/fantasy bent. It has action, suspense and twists that I didn’t see coming.

    My favorite aspect of the book is the narration by Michael Norman Johnson. He captures the right tone of the author’s words. I especially loved the interpretation of Sean’s sarcastic nature. It got a laugh out of me multiple times.

    I have to mention a pet peeve of mine that is present in this book. Each of the books in this box-set end on an egregious cliff-hanger. At the end of Book 2, it is obvious the story is not finished. There is a book-ending scene that tries to make it seem ‘complete’ but really there are too many threads left hanging for it to really work.

    Overall, I liked my first foray into this genre. I’ll be checking out other GameLit options.


  6. Jacob

    Step into a digital afterlife hundreds of years after being created. The characters spend most of their time in an rpg section of the afterlife they exist in.

    I liked the idea that this wasn’t another origin story of a vr game, giving a bit of a twist on a typical litrpg. I do feel like the author could have benefited from exploring the world a bit more, though. The world this book focuses on in very interesting, but we only see snapshots of much of it. I would be interested in a prequel to the books, especially if it focused on a different MC.

    The MC was mostly unlikable and I found myself caring more for the side and support characters. He is too self centered and unapologetic for a person his age, and it just made me not care for his character development.

    The narrator did a decent job and was glad to hear another person I wouldn’t mind reading me stories in the future. He did well in keeping pace and differentiating most of the characters.

    The few other problems I have with 8 Bit Bastards is the lack of an ending and the sound effects which both seem to jump out at your and are a bit too high volume compared to the narrator.

    I love myself some litrpg, and I think the concept kept me interested enough to take this book to the end. It is a decent read, but enjoy the journey and don’t expect a big conclusion (many loose ends).

    I received a free review copy and am leaving a voluntary review.

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