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The classic game: Bit Pilot

An avoid ’em up perhaps better named Constantly Smashed To Bits Pilot

Many games merely make up the numbers. A precious few become part of history. In this entry in our series on classic iPhone and iPad games, we take a look at an arcade treat that was more than a ‘bit’ special.

Bit Pilot gameplay

Chasing a power-up – and trying to not get smashed up

What was Bit Pilot?

In short, an avoid ’em up – a sub-genre that was quite popular for a while on iPhone and iPad, but that appears to have largely vanished today.

It featured a ‘pilot’ who was more than a ‘bit’ daft, having ended up trapped inside a tiny region of enclosed space being peppered by an alarming number of deadly asteroids.

You swiped to keep his ship intact, darting between your rocky adversaries.

Why was it a classic?

First, character. The game’s chunky graphics were a visual treat. The chip-tune music was fantastic. And the quirky sense of humor made you grin – even when you’d been smashed to bits for the umpteenth time.

But the controls were the best part. One- and two-finger swipes let you move at different speeds and were responsive to the point you knew every death was down to you. Add in excellent alternate modes and you had the best iPhone and iPad game in its genre.

The terrifying tunnels mode

Where is it now?

Having deftly dodged the tech upgrade equivalent of asteroids for years, Bit Pilot got smashed when Apple obliterated 32-bit apps, back in 2017.

According to creator Zach Gage – yes, the guy who subverts word and card games – the original app is gone and never coming back. But he says it’s possible Bit Pilot might resurface in the future as a sequel.

Visit the Bit Pilot website, while wishing really hard for that follow-up to arrive.