What do you get when you synthesize music with vibrant, funky and intuitive gameplay? It’s a question you won’t know the answer to, unless of course you’ve heard of Beatbuddy.
Beatbuddy is being created by four man indie development team Threaks, who started working on Beatbuddy four years ago. Today, Beatbuddy is nearing the end of its development cycle, and it has evolved into one of the most unique games you’ll ever lay eyes, or ears, on.
You’ll be controlling the titular Beatbuddy. A mystical creature that lives in the colourful land of Symphonia. Symphonia is a world that breathes music. Beatbuddy’s journey will take him through six different levels, each with their own distinct sound. The Threaks team have managed to get some stellar composers on board, and when I tell you that the soundtrack will feature names such as Austin Wintory, Parov Stelar, and Sabrepulse, you’ve got every right to be impressed.
Visually, Beatbuddy impresses, and the graphics on display deserve just as much recognition as that much talked about OST. Beatbuddy features a beautiful, hand-drawn art style that has been expertly brought to life by the talented team at Threaks. The visuals pop with energy and flavour, serving as the perfect companion to what will surely be a phenomenal soundtrack.
Nobody wants style without substance, though, so you’ll be pleased to hear that Beatbuddy’s gameplay is also worth getting excited about. You will progress through levels by solving various puzzles, and overcoming obstacles, all of which are intrinsically linked to the music used in the level. For example, you might have to burst through a barrier of bubbles when a specific note hits, or time your route through some dangerous crustaceans to technical, and musical, perfection.
When you manage to move through a section smoothly you’ll be left feeling immensely satisfied. Not because the game is overly difficult, but rather because your actions all have musical repercussions, so when you do flawlessly traverse part of a level you’ll be rewarded with some gratifying, and rather groovy, harmonies.
The controls in Beatbuddy are tight, and whilst I only played through the tutorial section of the game, I never encountered any technical issues. You control Beatbuddy’s directional movement using the left analog stick, pick up objects using the right trigger, and accelerate and punch by using A and X respectively. At the moment I can’t comment on how well Beatbuddy will handle if you’re using a mouse and keyboard, but if you choose to use a gamepad, you won’t run into any trouble.
Beatbuddy is a rather odd case of hearing is believing, and no amount of words can explain just how engrossing it is to have sound so intrinsically linked to gameplay. Beatbuddy was undoubtedly one of my favourite games at Rezzed, and I offer my sincerest congratulations to the team over at Threaks; they have created something truly special, and I cannot wait to get my hands on it again.
Beatbuddy will be releasing for PC, Mac and Linux, whilst console releases are planned for the future.