“Beatbuddy is one to watch!”
Beatbuddy, the upcoming debut release by Hamburg-based developers Threaks, is an adventure game which takes its focus around the wonders of music and rhythm. Playing out its story in the land of Symphonia, the story sees the player control Beatbuddy on a quest to save his homeland from the tyranny of a devious prince who seeks to control Symphonia through the power of its music. Throughout the game the you will find yourself exploring a variety of uniquely-designed landscapes which feature a fitting variety of different musical compositions. All of this is very beautiful indeed to experience, and the way the game itself plays is also something to be admired.
Rhythm plays a unique role in Beatbuddy’s gameplay style, and has been fitted so comfortably into the adventure genre that it causes you to wonder where it has been hiding all of this time. The very landscape of the world of Symphonia is alive with musical beauty alongside its fantastically-drawn appearance. In order to help Beatbuddy save his home, you will have to become one with this landscape, using and working with it in order to progress through the adventure and solve the different puzzles posed by it. This may involve moving with a rhythm to pass through barriers, bouncing from object to object in the world to navigate or access different areas, or keeping a constant rhythm to avoid dangers which will only allow you so many beats to pass.
The integration of this extremely fun feature in such a smooth and fitting way has been fantastically well done, and the awards which Beatbuddy has already won prior to its release give is credit which it certainly deserves. Boasting awards for both its musical and artistic achievements the game has already been recognised for its innovative design, and has found its way through what is usually the difficult set of trials to the Steam marketplace. Both the art and musical style create a surreal atmosphere which manages to feel both relaxed and exciting at the same time. The varied style of gameplay with numerous puzzles and different ways of playing, such as riding in a “borrowed” Beatbuggy as well as simply swimming around as Beatbuddy himself, will keep you entertained as you play as well, never feeling as though it is getting old, repetitive or boring.
There are numerous other features of the game add to the overall experience in a positive way. The most important to mention is of course the storyline. Beatbuddy has a well designed story which will keep you interested, not giving you all of the information on what is going on straight away so that you are inclined to keep playing to see how things will unfold. The characters of the game can quickly be related to as well. A connection with the cute yet clearly powerful being that is Beatbuddy is almost instantly felt when you begin to play. The prince is equally easy to connect with, but on a more negative level as the obvious, stand-out villain of the story. Everyone else along the way has a clear role from the first time you meet them and there is never any confusion about the personality of another character, whether their role is important or not. As you play the game you are encouraged to search for and collect pink crystals for beatpoints, as well as larger relic crystals for greater points, which will gain you extra features as you go along. This adds an exploration incentive to the game, if the pretty landscape hadn’t already given you one, and something for more dedicated players to work towards on top of the story.
In its current preview stage the game does have some known issues. Although the developers state that keyboard controls are still needing some work, the controller support for the game is well set out and works perfectly. Other than this issue which is recognised by the developers then, there appears to be little else wrong with the game. At the start of the story there are some subtitles at the bottom of the screen which appear to move too fast to comfortably read, and on the topic of text elements, the in-game text used in speech could do with some softening of its appearance as it does not quite fit the soft style of the game in its current form. Other than these very minor issues which will likely be cleaned up before the final release of Beatbuddy, it looks as though a very good job has been done.
As a whole, Beatbuddy is an adventure game which brings the combined beauty of music and artistic brilliance together in an incredibly triumphant manner. The gameplay is smooth, relaxing and exciting all at once, and the unique use of rhythm in play which has been created is something to be admired. The game would easily be appropriate for players of any age, with nothing to stop young gamers enjoying the game and a style which will attract the interests of older gamers as well. Beatbuddy is an intriguing release offering a genuinely new experience to the gaming world and maintaining the important core factors of gameplay and story alongside this. Hitting all of the right notes to reach success, Beatbuddy is one to watch!
What’s Good So Far?
The music composed for the game alongside its beautiful graphical style make for a fascinating adventure, and the unique use of rhythm in gameplay makes for a new and exciting gaming experience.
What Could Be Improved?
The in game text elements used for speech could be made to look a little smoother to closer fit the game around them. Aside from this there is a simple keyboard control issue known to the developers.