PAX West 2017: Just Shapes & Beats

Friday, September 8th, 2017

Share this page

We are proudly a Play-Asia Partner

SUPPORT OPRAINFALL BY TURNING OFF ADBLOCK

Ads support the website by covering server and domain costs. We're just a group of gamers here, like you, doing what we love to do: playing video games and bringing y'all niche goodness. So, if you like what we do and want to help us out, make an exception by turning off AdBlock for our website. In return, we promise to keep intrusive ads, such as pop-ups, off oprainfall. Thanks, everyone!

By


Just Shapes & Beats | Crush

Despite never learning an instrument as a child, I’ve always had a love for anything with a good beat. Rhythm games are my drug of choice when I need something relaxing to play, and I have been a huge fan of games ranging from Guitar Hero to Theatrhythm. So when I saw a multiplayer party game with pumping tunes and simple yet colorful graphics, I knew I had to play it. That game was Berzerk Studio’s Just Shapes & Beats.

Just Shapes & Beats | Duck

The premise of the game couldn’t be simpler – as the music plays in each stage, dangerous things happen and your job is to survive until the end of the level. The only thing you can do other than move around is dash, which grants you temporary invincibility. And I do mean temporary, so don’t get comfortable thinking you can put on perfect armor for the entire stage. You’ll need to gauge the rhythm and watch for visual cues, as well as timing your dashes perfectly, in order to survive. Luckily, if you meet your demise, your friends can revive you by touching your geometric avatar before floating off the screen, giving you another chance. As you play your avatar will gradually gain health, which is important, as very few attacks will one shot you.

Just Shapes & Beats | The Beat

Visually the game is admittedly simple, but not in a bad way. You’ll see bars of colored light blare at you, flashing energy you’ll have to dodge, and much more. By far the best example of this was in a stage set to the tunes of the song Mortal Kombat. As the music played, silhouettes of martial artists will pop onto the screen, either unleashing a torrent of fire or karate kick across the screen. It was gloriously frantic, and a great example of what the game has to offer.

Most interesting to me is that Just Shapes & Beats also has boss fights. Yes, you heard right. The boss in the demo was a angry red circle who grows massive limbs to punch and crush you with. He also dashes all about and makes the screen erupt in maddening bursts of lethal color. You can’t fight him, your goal is to survive through the course of the battle, at which point the boss will self destruct.

Just Shapes & Beats | Boss

This guy does NOT play around

I loved playing Just Shapes & Beats, and can’t wait til it eventually releases. On the Steam page the release date is comically listed as “Someday, god please someday”, though I’m confident we won’t have to wait too long. Once it comes out I will gladly dance to the rhythm, regardless of what consoles it ends up coming to.

About Josh Speer

Josh Speer is addicted to two things in equal measure : Books and Videogames. He has a degree from the University of Washington in English with an emphasis on writing. He joined Operation Rainfall last year while following it on Facebook. His two giant life goals are to write his own series of fantasy / science fiction novels and to get into the creative side of the video game industry. He is beyond pleased to now have his proverbial foot in the door thanks to the opportunity provided by Oprainfall!