By Henry Badilla / September 26th, 2017
|Title||Beat The Game|
|Release Date||September 7, 2017|
Besides video games one of my hobbies is listening to music, which leads me to loving music-based games like Dance Dance Revolution, Rock Band, Theatrhythm and many others. However, when you think of video games that use music it usually means rhythm games that are based on pressing buttons at the right time, which happen to match the background song. Beat The Game is based on music, but is more like an exploration of the music and how small changes modify the mood of the song, packed in a surreal experience.
Please note that Beat The Game is more like an experience or a concept than a full-fledged video game. The game begins while the protagonist is driving what looks like a motorcycle before having a small accident which destroys his vehicle. Now he is stranded in the middle of the desert and has to find a way to continue his journey.
The main focus of the game is in exploration and finding new sounds. You have a music sampler at your disposal which is used to record sounds. So you have to either find them in the open by listening to different elements in the map, or complete small quests that will help you hear the new sounds. And when I say small quests, I mean it. The map is really tiny, there are no characters to interact with, and most items are found just lying on the ground.
Your sampler has a total of 24 different sounds and you have to find them all in order to complete the game. You are able to actually mix these sounds to create the background music you hear, which is something I really enjoyed. You can select the volume of each sample track and the speed at which it plays. It’s definitely simpler than a full audio software, but gives you a good example of how music is made.
Once you have all the audio samples you can play a concert in which you have to follow the instructions and activate or deactivate the samples as instructed. Since all the sounds are being played in real time it gives you the feel that you are actually performing music, which felt pretty nice. The bad thing is that it is the only challenging part of the game, and it’s quickly over.
That’s the reason why I feel this is more like an experience. The game is only one hour long, but mixing the audio is something unique to video games. Additionally the art style and graphics present in the game reminds me of the art of Salvador Dali, which I imagine was one of the big influences in the game. The area in which the game takes place is filled with unique and bizarre creatures, strange sculptures and even some remnants of what could have been modern civilization. Unfortunately, no details are provided on what could have happened in this world.
The audio of the game is certainly unique and difficult to review. Some of the samples that you can use are not really interesting, and fade among the other sounds that can be used to create the music. But there are enough customization options and samples to create different sounds. The fun is in creating your own soundtrack, so that would depend a lot on your musical preferences and how much time you want to dedicate to fine tune your track.
In conclusion Beat The Game feels more like a commercial of MTV from the 90s. With no plot, just provocative imagery and unique sounds, it’s a unique experience that I feel everyone should try at some point. But as a game it’s too short for $10 and there is no replay value or achievements to hunt after. This is a hard sell that I can only recommend to those interested in games for their artistic value or uniqueness.
Review copy provided by the publisher.
Beat the GameIndieMusic GameWorm Animation