How ridiculous is it that the first game I encounter after spending 150 hours with Metal Gear Survive is basically “Mini” Gear Survive? Don’t Bite Me Bro! boils down the crafting, scavenging, farming, base-building, and tower defense of Survive’s single player campaign into such a surprisingly tiny and satisfying package. It even trumps it with 4-player local co-op although it’s just as easy to play solo without much worry.
I will stop right here and say that if you have a low tolerance for jank, stay away. The game grew out of a design school game jam and was developed by a super small team, and it shows its rough edges quite frequently. However, it’s free, and that went a long ways towards pacifying my frustrations which sometimes required closing and relaunching the game completely. Fortunately, while I was in the middle of writing this very post the game got an update that fixed the most major issues and even added some new content.
So with that disclaimer out of the way, why would you play a game called Don’t Bite Me Bro!? At a glance, it’s just another voxel-based, Minecraft-lookin’, twin-stick shooter but as I already said, there’s a lot more going on. The tutorial quickly introduces you to the loop: scavenge for resources, build up your base, and get ready for the next wave of enemies that come marching along every 10-ish minutes. In between, you have time to grow crops to keep your Hunger meter in check and explore the map (frequently on foot, but you can also scavenge gas and speed around in your truck).
Home sweet home. Crafting, defending, and farming all happen within one screen’s breadth.
For being so tiny there’s still quite a lot to do. NPCs give you mini quests like clearing the area of zombies, finding certain food items, or crafting a specific item for them. Once completed they’ll usually give you access to a new weapon — you’ve got a basic pistol and a wooden stick but there are a handful of swords and firearms to find — and after you escort them to base camp, you can stick them in a tower to help fend off the encroaching hordes. After adding two or three survivors you’ll feel a little better about spending more time away from home and eventually find one of the game’s three dungeons.
Time pauses when you enter one of these areas so you don’t have to worry about the waves of zombies back at base. There’s a cave, a crypt, and a hospital, and each offers three floors of randomly placed rooms that you’ll have to clear on your path down to the bottom. Along the way you’ll find food, bullets, and a few unique items that offer various perks like increased defense, strength, or an extra life. There’s also a shopkeeper you’ll run into who’ll sell you weapons, bundles of resources, or perk-granting items. Ultimately, you’ll fight a simple but clever boss battle on the bottom floor and after you’ve cleared all three dungeons, you’re done.
It doesn’t sound like much, and once you know the lay of the land you can finish the game in about an hour, but the bite-sized loop never stopped satisfying. Even before the update, Don’t Bite Me Bro! kept me entertained for a week and there’s now even more to discover. Grab it for free on PlayStation 4 or on PC from itch.io and give it a shot.