This Saturday, while at Rezzed, I got my first hands-on with Beatbuddy, an action adventure game with music as its core mechanic. Before I got around to playing this charming game, I watched over Marius’s shoulder, and as he navigated the title character around this colourful underwater world, my first impression was, wow, this game does look beautiful, the rays of light beaming through the hand painted world looked majestic. This particular art style reminded me a lot of Rayman Origins.
The demo itself takes place in a blue underwater cavern, bursting with colourful enemies, this first part of the game introduces you to the jazzy enemies, some bounce you through the level establishing the bass beat, and others like the colour changing bubbles streams, block your way unless you swim through them on the beat making a very satisfying snared drum sound. Then there’s the crabs, always accompanied by a number of snails with retractable spikes, you need to hit the crab in order for the snails to retract their spikes, you then quickly swim past them as the sound of the drum roll means they’re about to pop out again.
All this might sound complex, but it really isn’t. Any preconceptions I had about this game quickly got dispelled as I swam trough the cave’s labyrinth. You don’t need to know about rhythm to play the game explained Laurens de Gier (Game Designer). The game mechanics are extremely easy to pick up, while at the same time feeling very tight and responsive, I felt in control at all times. There are a total of six levels with different themes, constructed around a song. Each of these levels will have puzzles to solve and vehicles to utilise. There was a vehicular section in the demo where I got to drive a submarine that gracefully bounced to the rhythm whilst navigating through a tougher part of the level, these vehicular parts serve as the chorus for the each level, explained Denis Rogic (Art Director).
So the game mechanics are solid, what about the story? With the short amount of time I had to play, It wasn’t possible to really understand what the story was about. Denis and Laurens explained that they had originally written the entire story for the game but weren’t completely happy with it. And as luck would have it they managed to get Rhianna Pratchett (Mirror’s Edge, Tomb Raider) involved with the project. Rhianna proceeded to change most of the story, injecting it with her own humorous wit. It’s this meticulous attention to detail that gets me exited to play Beatbuddy.
THREAKS 4 year labour of love will be released this July on steam and on consoles at a later date