Bitterroot is the story of the cursed Bitterroot Mansion, and the secrets it holds.

Created in the classic game boy style, and available as a ROM download that can be played on the original hardware, Bitterroot is an exercise in seeing how far the limitations of the Game Boy can be pushed to create a true atmospheric game.


You take on the role of a stranger stranded, who tries to find help but instead end us trapped in the web of the Bitterroot curse. 

Use your investigational skills to find key items that may help you escape the dark powers of the mansion. Fight off its otherworldly inhabitants, and try to piece together what caused this anomaly to occur.


Arrow Keys / D-Pad - Left Right Move/ Face away/towards

Z Key / A Button - Interact

X Key / B Button - Use Camera (when prompted)

Enter / Start - Bring up key item inventory checklist

Shift / Select - Bring up Save menu

Bitterroot really was a challenge in creating something that felt perhaps a bit more mature than what was readily doable on the original Game Boy. I wanted to attempt larger sprites, more elaborate and detailed backgrounds, and a clean UI.

Deluxe edition featuring concept art, sprites, and .pdf manual and box art coming soon!

Spanish translations thanks to Jorge Fernandez! Check out his games as well at https://arrozpegao.itch.io!

Game was built using the GBStudio software.

Download

Download NowName your own price

Click download now to get access to the following files:

Bitterroot ROM.zip 66 kB
Bitterroot(ESP) ROM.zip 66 kB
Bitterroot_Deluxe.zip 24 MB
if you pay $3 USD or more

Development log

Comments

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I tried to play it via a flashcard on my Super Game Boy 2. The doors facing towards you aren't visible. Just skip to 45 Min of my stream: https://www.twitch.tv/videos/995585641
I used the latest Rom I found here. To bad I haven't an og Game Boy to try it out.

was it playing it as a game boy color game? The outward facing door is created using color swapping palettes only available through a game boy color, so that may be the issue. I believe that is the issue but I’ll take a look at the twitch vid as soon as I get a chance. Thank you for giving the game a look :)

Ah, that may be the reason. The Super Game Boy (2) can only play GB games, not GB color games. Now I'm suprised the game even started :D

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Sounds like that was the issue. Yeah a lot of effects in the game (lightning, etc) were achieved through the game boy color palette swapping

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all GB studio games are technically backwards compatible with both GB and GBC consoles, so there may be issue in cases where the design is specifically leveraging color mode features

hello! I really enjoy your games, but I can't seem to find the candles. I was looking in the comment section earlier to find answers but nothing there. ( I really do enjoy the games you make, this is most definitely not a hate comment!! )

once you get the camera you can remove the ghost lady that’s in the way of the cabinet, hopefully that hint helps. And thank you for the kind words! It means a lot :)

I truly an sorry for being so complicated but where do I find the camera? 

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it’s in the closet in the room with the head in a jar

i enjoyed this game aswell as the neighbour.

Thank you so much for checking them out :)

you are welcome

hoW do I uSE Da LIGhteR

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it’ll auto use to combine with candles when you get them

After playing this game and Neighbor, I can really tell that you love the genre. Keep up the good work, I am really looking forward to future games from you. (:

Thank you for the kind words! Working on getting better and better at it!

Hoi! Thanks for making a spooky GB game! I love the gb style & I love horror games. Good job. Are you working on any more games?

hey there! Thanks for checking the game out! I also put out the game Neighbor which you can find on my page, and working on another game now called AF+ER, hopefully releasing sometime in the near future!

Trying to keep the spooky GB dream alive haha

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i enjoyed the hell out of this game i cant say i was interested in many horror games before i found this thank you!!

so happy to hear that! Glad you enjoyed it :)

I accidentally paid 2 dollars, so i paid one more dollar. Then i find out that it only counts for a one-time purchase. So I paid 6 dollars for the deluxe version. Please don't let my math teacher see this. He will be so mad that 2+1 equals 0.

I’m sorry this happened! I believe you can request a refund from itch.io, so you can get the money back :) 

if you were trying to get the deluxe and something messed up just let me know via email and I’ll make sure you get it. 

Haha, don't mind me. That's just me being stupid. I got the deluxe version anyway ;)  No coke for today though lol

Nevertheless, I enjoyed myself while playing your games (I just finished playing Neighbor). And I'm really interested in your future projects. BTW, the game AF+ER, is it still a gb game?

All the best.

I really appreciate the support! Truly means a lot! Especially since I’m just one guy doing this for the love of the hobby, gives me energy to keep going :)

And yes, AF+ER is going to be a game boy game as well. It’s going to be an open world-ish game so it’s taking a bit to create everything but hoping to have it out soon. 

NP. I totally understand. I use to develop games too. Unlike you, I can't draw well, even by using computers. So I needed someone to do the artwork. Even so, it is still quite uneasy. Hope you can continue your hobby and keep surprising us with your wonderful work.

An open world-ish horror game sounds really appealing. Will definitely support you! 

you have no idea how much the support means! Thank you! And can’t wait to share the new game, working as fast as I can to have something out soon :)

This was really great. Compelling story. Great music + visuals.  Loved it.

Thank you so much for playing! Checking out your video now :)

Small bug: If you re-enter the bathroom after the devil disappeared there, he will reappear and just stand around there.

thanks for catching that! Will fix!

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Keep up the great work!


*Typo

Thank you! 🙏

You should make a discord server for your fanbase to keep on touch and to announce more games! This was extremely well done!

if there was an interest I certainly would. Being a solo hobbyist making games after work late at night it’s super hard to juggle everything at times haha

You should when you get the chance man! Unless someone creates a server for you, who knows 

i love your game... 

I just finished it and soon the series will be uploaded on my youtube channel

Thanks for playing! Will def check it out 🙏

Amazing story!

thank you 🙏

Which development tool was used to design this game?

GB Studio

Just got to know about that tool now. Thanks for your response.

it’s a great program if you find the challenging limitations fun. A lot can be created out of the framework!

Thanks, man...ill surely check it out.

Is no one going to point out that the animation for opening a door and walking up the steps are almost like the animation in Resident Evil the first one for ps 2.!?!?!?!?

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Yes, I noticed

I can't get past the monster that seems to be guarding the breaker, I am playing on mobile gba in browser emu, but spamming be does not work, I have the lighter so far(whatever that does)

you need the camera. Hint: the breaker is near the kitchen. Let me know if that helps 

Thanks

WOW!! Outstanding!

Are you using the child actors method for the larger sprites?
How did you make the cutscenes of the doors opening? Is that separate actors working with each other?
So good, really am impressed.

Hey there, yeah child actors stacked for larger sprites. The doors are nine actors in sync going frame by frame. Glad you dug the game!

This was so cool! Love the retro vibe!

Thank you so much for playing! Glad you enjoyed the game!!

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im stuck idk what to do after the monster

Which monster are you stuck at? You need the camera in order to help ;)

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im stuck at when you press B and as im SPAMMING B it doesnt work

that’s strange. Are you on a computer or playing it as a rom on a console? The B button is X on a browser

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ooooooooooooh yes i was playing on a computer that explains it. ok thanks bro 👍

no prob happy to help!

I loves this! I’m a big fan of the horror adventure style of gameplay, and Bitterroot does a great job of creating atmosphere in a GameBoy environment, which isn’t so easy to do. More creepy than dangerous, Bitterroot tells an interesting, scary story through finding newspaper clippings and its bizarre imagery. It’s soundtrack is simple yet effective. The only trouble I had was that there were times I had trouble navigating the environment during the 3D- like spaces. At times I wasn’t sure if I was going in or out, up or down. But that’s more me than the game. I’d recommend all horror fans to give this one a go. 

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Thank you so much for the kind words!! I’m glad you enjoyed the game, checking out your play through video now :)

Made a video

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Awesome! Can’t wait to check it out! Thanks guys!!

I cant figure out how to equip the lighter I tried pressing z and the other controls. Maybe its a bug or the control is not listed but if you know please tell me how to equip the lighter.

There is no equipping in the game. The menu is more of a showcase of the collectible elements in the game. Sorry if there was any confusion

Nvm I thought you need to equip it in the stairs so ignore this

Really impressive! This game's a little, yet shiny, jewel!

thank you so much for the kind words!

Game Boy game!

Thank you for giving the game a try :)

my goodness this was absolute blast to play, thank you very much for that 

thank you for checking it out and glad you enjoyed it!!

This game's pretty cool, man. The story is great and it looks nice too. Nice job! Thanks for the fun!

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thank you for playing the game! Glad you enjoyed it!

The graphics are really nice 

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thank you!!

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love it

thank you so much for giving it a go! Glad you liked it :)

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great jobs

Great plot. Although short, the ambience of the game and the strange residents of the mansion, as well as the ending, are the highlights of the game, for me. Congratulations!

thank you so much for giving it a go! Glad to hear you enjoyed it!! Appreciate your support!

Some really cool work here. One thing I am finding is that on original GB hardware the color you’ve reserved for lightning as well as the notion of there being a door across from you doesn’t seem to be showing up. Is this release only supposed to be for the GBC? Enjoying it, nonetheless

yes, it’s unfortunately a gbc game. a number of the effects like the lightning and the light from the door don’t work on the palette limitations of the original DMG

No need to say unfortunately! Its still a fun play on DMG and great graphics work - I especially liked the bathroom area and the mechanical room

Cool game! I am going to download it.

awesome thank you for checking it out! Hope you enjoy!

WOW,what a fantastic surprise! Thank you for making this excellent little horror game. I played it the minute I found it and I really enjoyed myself. Took me 16 minutes to finish the game. Could've done it sooner for a second trial. The music gives me the creeps and being alone in a haunted house really raises my heart beat. Nice work. Think there's only one ending where the woman found the crashed car, right? BTW, I bought the deluxe version of Neighbor, but I haven't really played it. Now I think I can give it a try. Hope to see more horror games from you.

thank you for checking it out! it’s a quicker game than Neighbor because I really wanted focus on the mood and learning some new tricks. 

Really appreciate you getting the deluxe neighbor, your support helps a lot and it really motivates me to keep going!

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NP:).Nicely done. Waiting for the release of deluxe edition.

hopefully within a week. Want to make sure the booklet and extras are polished :)