Beat Da Beat
Gameplay 8
Graphics 8
Sound 9

Blast away aliens that move and attack to the beat of some great Dubstep tracks in this addictive bullet hell shooter. The game is no walk in the park and with four difficulty settings as well as ten ships to unlock it will keep you busy for a while. Being a fan of EDM obviously helps, but the charming pixel art style visuals and relentless action is what kept us coming back for more.

Gameplay: As simple as dodging bullets and grabbing coins.

Graphics: Retina searing colors and flashes, but very nice overall.

Sound: Your personal music taste will determine whether you like the Dubstep soundtrack or not

Summary 8.3 Outstanding
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Beat Da Beat

Developer: 2 players | Publisher: Nekki GmbH | Release Date: 2016 | Genre: Bullet Hell Shooter / Action / Indie | Website: Official Website | Purchase: Steam

When aliens arrive to ruin your romantic picnic and kidnap your loved one there is only one thing to do; jump in your spaceship and blast them all to bits. Beat Da Beat is a bullet hell style shooter that harkens back to the arcade classics, but puts its own modern twist on things. You see in this game the bullets and enemies are all influenced by the rhythm of the Dubstep playing in the background. It’s a match made in heaven if you are a fan of electronic dance music, but if not you might have to learn to like the tunes because you’ll be hearing them a lot.

Although Beat Da Beat was originally released on Android and iOS it has made the transition to PC pretty well. The pixelart style visuals still look great and playing on a bigger screen makes it easier to spot the hail of bullets. Many shooters stick to one color for the bullets to make them easier to distinguish, but Beat Da Beat throws them at you in all colors of the rainbow. It then follows it up with a couple of screen flashes just for good measure as well, so take heed of the epilepsy warning displayed at the start of the game. Thankfully, the background is kept relatively simple, apart from some asteroids and planets flashing by, making it easier to see the bullets.

Fiddling around in the options menu reveals that you can toggle vignette, motion blur, distortion, bloom, and color balance or enable “Retro Mode.” The latter is wildly impractical as it adds huge scanlines and a type of VCR flicker to the visuals, making it almost impossible to dodge bullets. While there is nothing really special about the ordinary enemies, the game does feature some pretty big bosses. The game even shows a small box-out depicting the reaction of the character to seeing these bosses, which is quite humorous. This humor extends to the interface where you’ll find the pixel art protagonist busting out dance moves to the beat. It’s a really neat touch, but you’ll be too busy trying to stay out of harm’s way to really pay much attention to it. Important information, such as the amount of lives and bombs you have left is also shown on the right hand side of the screen.

The game features ten different spaceships to choose from, but you only start out with one. The rest have to be unlocked by completing the four difficulty modes or bought using the coins you collect from defeated enemies. Each ship has their own unique look and ability, but obtaining the more expensive ones can be a bit of a grind. If you lose all your lives, it is game over, but you can also use the cash you’ve earned to purchase persistent unlocks for your ship. Health, firepower and bombs can be increased if you have enough cash, which makes the next run a little easier.

Since the gameplay and visuals are all based around the music it is a good thing that the soundtrack of Beat Da Beat is quite good. The game recommends using headphones, but playing it on a decent speaker setup sound just as good. We also love the pixel art depictions of the DJS responsible for the tunes, shown at the start of each track. The controls appear to be restricted to the mouse only, which might be an issue for players used to a controller or keyboard for this type of game. We found the mouse controls to be very responsive though. Thanks to the small hitbox of your spaceship you can weave through even the most intense barrage of bullets with some concentration and a steady hand. The auto-fire of the mobile versions have carried over as well, so the only buttons you have to worry about is a left-click for bombs and a right-click to activate your special ability.

Beat Da Beat isn’t the first game to offer a fusion of beats and bullets, but it is certainly one of the better ones. We would have liked to see a few more levels, but the game is addictive enough that you’ll want to try again on a harder difficulty once you have completed it. Best of all, the price is quite reasonable, so the value for money is definitely there.

System Requirements

  • OS: Windows Vista
  • Processor: 2 GHz Dual Core
  • Memory: 2 GB RAM
  • Graphics: 256 Mb
  • DirectX: Version 9.0c
  • Storage: 500 MB available space
  • OS: Windows 7
  • Processor: 2 GHz Dual Core (Intel Core 2 Duo 2.4 GHz or Athlon X2 2.7 GHz)
  • Memory: 4 GB RAM
  • Graphics: 512 Mb
  • DirectX: Version 9.0c
  • Storage: 500 MB available space

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