BeatBlasters III
Gameplay 8
Graphics 8
Sound 7

BeatBlasters III shows a lot of imagination but has the gameplay to back up the wacky plot. The developers have gone for a quality over quantity approach with each level looking totally unique. It takes a while to get used to the controls but using a controller makes a big difference. If you are looking for an interesting fusion of platforming, puzzle solving and rhythm based action then grab yourself a copy.

Gameplay: A very interesting fusion of genres.

Graphics: The 2D visuals are packed with detail and imagination.

Sound: The music is not my favorite genre but it matches the theme of the game

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BeatBlasters III

Developer: Chainsawesome Games | Publisher: Chainsawesome Games | Release Date: 2014 | Genre: Action / Indie / Rhythm | Website: Official Website | Purchase: Steam

Joey and Gina are a couple of music loving teens who find themselves forcefully ejected from the town of Acappella. It would seem that the local butcher, who is also the tyrannical ruler of the town, despises music and has outlawed all tunes. Unwilling to accept their exile, the musical duo start to make their way back to town with the help of the locals in order to teach the butcher a lesson.

If the story sounds strange, don’t worry, it only becomes stranger as you play. En route to the town you’ll help a flying cow protect her eggs, protect trees from a chainsaw wielding robot, help a Yeti restore electricity to his cave, help a polar bear avoid diabetes and escort senior citizens to the casino. The plot is quite bonkers but very imaginative and ensures that the theme for each level is completely different.

The gameplay boils down to about three basic mission types. You are either fighting a boss, escorting something through a level or protecting things from incoming threats. You can choose between the two lead characters, but their basic moves are exactly the same. You have one button to attack enemies, one button to put up a shield that can also push objects away and one button to activate the rocket boots. Using these powers to complete the levels would have been fairly easy, if it wasn’t for the rhythm based mechanic that the game employs. You see, using each of the three powers depletes it and the only way to refill the meter is to hold the recharge button and tap the relevant button to the beat of the music. A metronome at the top of the screen makes things a bit easier, but can be distracting until you learn to play by ear. As you match the beats you also fill up the rhythm bar, which temporarily makes the three meters unlimited and unleashes a special attack that is unique to each character.

The game features some very polished 2D visuals and each location is crammed with detail. The character and enemy designs are brilliant and we really enjoyed the art direction. There is some wildly imaginative stuff on display here, lending the game a very distinct visual style. It is not every day that you see a game which combines flying cows, pirates, cats, aliens, and penguins! The electro soundtrack matches the style of the game and the distinctive beats make it easy to match the rhythm without having to glance at the metronome all the style. The more things are happening on the screen, the more hectic the tunes become which is also pretty cool.

Having to constantly switch between the different powers, while frantically recharging when there is a lull in the action, requires a bit of finger dexterity and playing with a controller is highly recommended. The normal walking speed felt very sluggish to me and jumping is almost useless, but the rocket boots more than make up for this. You earn stars for completing levels and these can be used to unlock new fire modes for your beatblaster weapon. The game also features achievements that are a bit harder to get than simply finishing a level.

The game is quite entertaining, but weighs in at only sixteen levels. While sixteen unique looking levels are preferable to a 100 that look exactly the same, it does mean that the game can be completed rather quickly. You can choose between “Easy” and “Normal” modes for each level, with the option to play on “Insane” unlocking after completing all levels. This adds some replay value, but only to players who are willing to do everything again on a higher difficulty.

BeatBlasters III combines puzzles, platforming and rhythm action in a very unique manner, making for an interesting gameplay experience. The difficulty level isn’t too high, although it can take some practice to get your timing right. The highlight to us is the unique visual style and the interesting use of audio. With a few more levels and maybe some form of multi-player this game could have scored higher, but as is it is still very good. Because it combines so many disparate elements it might not appeal to everyone, but thankfully there is a demo that you can check out to judge for yourself.

*Review originally published 2014.

System Requirements

  • OS: Windows XP, Windows Vista SP2, Windows 7, Windows 8
  • Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo 2.1 ghz
  • Memory: 1 GB RAM
  • Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 4000
  • Storage: 800 MB available space
  • OS: Windows XP, Windows Vista SP2, Windows 7, Windows 8
  • Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo @ 2.8 GHz / AMD Athlon II X2 @ 2.8 GHz
  • Memory: 2 GB RAM
  • Graphics: Nvidia GeForce 6800, ATI X1800 XT
  • Storage: 500 MB available space
  • OS: OSX 10.6
  • Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo 2.1 ghz
  • Memory: 1 GB RAM
  • Graphics: Intel GMA X3100
  • Storage: 800 MB available space
  • OS: Ubuntu 12.04
  • Processor: AMD Athlon II X2 3800+ @ 2.1 GHz
  • Memory: 1 GB RAM
  • Graphics: Nvidia Geforce 6600
  • Storage: 800 MB available space

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