“Beatbuddy is damn near perfect!”
It is a rare and yet wonderful experience to be able to watch someone’s dreams come to life. I first came across Beatbuddy at Rezzed 2013 in Birmingham, where I met the developers and had the opportunity to play with their sample and talk about what they had created. That experience, which must have lasted no more than an hour at best, captured my interest and told my mind that I had to hold on tight to this ride, because something beautiful was being born into the gaming world. The team at Threaks, the developers behind the game which is to be their small indie studio’s debut, thankfully stayed in contact and not too long after this event provided me with a preview build to sink my teeth into. You don’t have to read far into the write-up that came from that build to see just how amazingly the team had done with their game, even before it was entirely completed. There were only one or two things I could possibly think to suggest to them that might make their final version better, and at the preview stage that is surprisingly few indeed. Now the final version is ready, I have started the game again to see what has changed, and hell, what can I possibly say other than that Beatbuddy is damn near perfect!
In case this is the first that you have heard of Beatbuddy, let me try and describe it to you. Beatbuddy is an adventure game which takes place in a world alive with music and harmony. The very world itself is sustained and living through these mediums, which act as almost the life force of the world and its inhabitants. This land however falls into a dangerous situation when a devious prince finds and steals an artefact responsible for this power. This awakens the legendary guardians of this power, one of whom is Beatbuddy – the hero of the game and the character whose story you will play out. Travelling through the different lands of this world, you must work to save the power which keeps is peaceful and beautiful nature alive. Every land will place new puzzles before you, be alive with different music and sounds, and give you a new style of wonders beauty to admire as you explore it. Sounds exciting doesn’t it? Well don’t stop reading yet, there’s more!
The way the game plays is magnificent and different to anything you are likely to have experienced before. In terms of controls, things are delightfully simple. There is not too much to remember, and the game is controller enabled for those gamers for which that is their preference. The actual playing of the game however is much more in depth, but at the same time by no means complicated – a fantastic combination. As you play you have to feel the very rhythm of the world of the game and make your movements and actions fit to this in order to achieve tasks and complete puzzles. Certain areas might, for example, require you to move to a particular beat in order to avoid dangers and pass through safely. This is an exciting new idea, a rare thing in the gaming world at present, and makes the game unique in its style of play. It is both exciting and challenging all at once, but most importantly it is very immersive. The need to become one with the game in order to play is something which really draws you into the world of the game and allows you to be a part of it yourself.
The design of the game itself is nothing less than magnificent. Beatbuddy has soaked up creative talent like an artistic sponge, and has drawn on some excellent abilities from individuals in the creative fields. The look of the game varies between different levels, as each area has been created by different artists interpreting ideas in different ways. Of course these also blend nicely in such a way as to give the game its core style, but the differentiation is there and it is beautiful. Similarly, the backing soundtrack to the game has been created by a variety of talents and is equally as incredible as the way it looks. The style of music used does not just cater to one genre which will please some people and be a bore or bane of others. It is a style which can be found pleasant by almost any player of the game, and if you don’t believe it from reading it, the take it from me as a fan of rock and metal music. It does not fit my usual tastes but I am still eerily drawn in by it and very much enjoy it. These achievements in the creative areas of the game have been recognised by its very worthy acquisition of several creative awards, even before its release. It is something to be marvelled at for sure.
Beatbuddy looks beautiful, sounds just excellent, and plays wonderfully; there is little more that can possibly be asked of any game. What did interest me however was to see what changes had been made between the preview build and final version of the game. When I previewed Beatbuddy I pointed out what fine issues I could find to the developers, and I was absolutely thrilled to receive a personal response from them. I had some hope then that these elements would be looked at again then, and sure enough this final build did not shatter this hope but fulfilled it. The main issue I had found was the style of the text bubbles for speech and instructions being given in the game. At the preview stage, the style of these did not really fit in with the rest of the game. Now I am pleased to say that more than a little work has gone into changing these and now they fit in even more naturally than I could have expected. Further to this, on restarting the game to review it there was a fantastically modelled opening sequence which really gave some background and context to the adventure which was about to unfold; a fantastic improvement.
There is nothing bad that I can think of to say about this game. It was doing well even at the preview stage of development, and its final release has fixed what few issues appeared to be present before. I said it at the start of this review, and I will reiterate it again now; Beatbuddy is damn near perfect! For a debut game from developers Threaks, and for a first attempt at something unique to enter into the competitive gaming industry, it is impossible not to be impressed by what has been achieved here. Further to everything that I have said before, it is also worth noting that the game is appropriate for pretty much anyone too, and gamers of any age will almost certainly enjoy and be impressed by what the game has to offer. Beatbuddy is not a game that you should ignore and is certainly not a title which you should be foolish enough to miss. Priced at only £11.99 on Steam (and with 10% off at the time of writing too) there is little excuse to pass up on the opportunity to play such a unique, inspiring, beautiful, welcoming and fun little game as this.
Buy the game here: http://store.steampowered.com/app/231040/
The Good – Everything.
The Not So Good – Nothing.
Most Recommended To – Everyone!
A note to the developers – Thank you for the opportunity to follow the development of your game from Rezzed to now, it has been an absolute pleasure to play and I look forward to seeing what you guys come out with in the future. Beatbuddy is my Indie Game of the Year this year for sure!
Disclaimer:All scores given within our reviews are based on the artist’s personal opinion; this should in no way impede your decision to purchase the game.