bit Generations: Dotstream is a Game Boy Advance video game released in July of 2006. It is part of the initial batch of bit Generations games, and was never released outside of Japan. The game was published by Nintendo and developed by skip, Ltd. (Chibi-Robo, Captain Rainbow, other bit Generations/Art Style titles). As is the case with all bit Generations games, it was meant to provide innovative gameplay in a distinctly retro setting. Early in development the game was known as bit Generations: Dotliner.
Dotstream is a racing game where you control a dot on the screen whose competition includes a variety of other, differently colored dots. As the players move, they leave a trail behind them of their color. The lines that trail behind each player serve no significant purpose other than looking neat. The different dots can move through each of the lines without having to be worried of dying. The game's obstacles include a variety of shapes that they must maneuver around.
The controls in the game are up, down, R button, and the A and B buttons. The up and down buttons on the d-pad will move your dot in the corresponding direction. A will allow the player to use the item they currently have in their possession. B will let them break and go into the pit, while the R button will give them a speed boost. Start, as always, pauses the game.
At the beginning of each race, your dot will begin to move slowly, and then start to pick up speed as the race progresses. You can increase your speed manually by going directly behind another dot. If your dot is moving up and down at a rapid pace, then this will cause him to lose momentum. You'll also gain speed boosts when you go through arrows with green borders. Doing so will usually prove helpful, though they're commonly placed in inappropriate places, such as behind blocks. Going through a speed boost may cause your dot to accidentally crash into one. The computer controlled characters will occasionally go through a speed burst.
The game includes three primary game modes, including:
- Campaign: In the Campaign mode you are required to race in many different courses. In all, there are six campaigns, each containing five race tracks. Completing one campaign will unlock another one, and will continue to do so until you complete the sixth race. The different campaigns in the mode each have a name and are accompanied by a different color. The campaigns include:
- Sonic GP - Red
- Flash GP - Cyan
- Lightning GP - Gold
- Plazma GP - Green
- Laser GP - Lavendar
- Tachyon GP - Pink
- Spot Race: In Spot Race, you'll be allowed to go back and play on any one of the race tracks that you've already completed in the previous mode. This mode keeps track of your best times on each race, and contains two squares at the top that signify if you placed first or if you haven't completed the track yet in Campaign.
- Formation: Formation is unlocked after you've completed the first track in Campaign mode. In Formation mode you'll play on a never ending track that contains energy containers that keep the player alive and well.
Power ups and items
Power ups are littered across each stage that are signified by flashing boxes. Once you make your dot run into one of the boxes, you'll be able to use the item by pressing the A button. Collecting another item when you have one in possession already will replace the first with the second. The power ups and items featured in the game include:
- Star: Once you activate a star, all of the obstacles on the stage will become invisible so that you can pass through them. This only lasts for a short time, and the downside to this is that the other racers will also be able to pass through the objects as well.
- Pause: The Pause item will slow down all of the other opponents on the stage for a very short time, though you will continue to travel as you were.
- Lightning: This move will cause all of the moving shapes to be destroyed. The ones suspended in air, and not moving at all, will remain.
Sequels and imitators
In 2010 Nintendo revealed at the 2010 Nintendo Press Summit in San Francisco that they would release the game in America for the WiiWare service titled Art Style: Light Trax. It features many upgrades not present in the Game Boy Advance version and includes a graphical boost. In May of 2009, independent game developer Omer created a game nearly identical to Dotstream called Streamline and released it on Microsoft's Xbox Live service for 200 points.