Quick Look: Beatbuddy
The first thing that hit me when I started Beatbuddy was sight and sound. The game wastes no time showcasing it’s gorgeous visuals along with it’s music. The visuals all look meticulously hand drawn with everything on the screen moving with such a fluidity that everything feels like one long motion, this undersea land has life.
The music hooks you, it gets you started with a rhythm, something you can’t help but to nod your head or tap your foot to, then it builds. Once you go across some of the level the music picks up, new sounds come in, you start interacting with them and you’re hooked.
My preview had the first two levels of the game. The first level started off as your usual tutorial where we find out that Beatbuddy’s sister Harmony has gone to investigate a situation that effects Beatbuddy’s home and he’s tasked with going and finding her. Along the way I learned that you collect shards to gain notches on your health meter and then when your health goes down you’re able to gain hearts to replenish it.
I also learned how to interact or avoid the environment. There are certain objects that you must interact with in order to break down obstacles. There are these jellyfish top looking animals that serve as base drums, they provide the beat in the stages when you see them but they’re also used to launch Beatbuddy through certain barricades so he can enter new levels.
There are also hi-hat hermit crabs that cause snails to extend their spikes out along with it’s beat. In order to get past those you must make the hermit crab retreat into it’s shell, taking away the rhythm that makes the snails attack.
Full disclosure, I spent about 10 minutes watching that little guy dance to the music.
As I played the game I discovered new animals and items that added to the songs that were playing. I feel in a lot of ways that I’m just scratching the surface of all the music combinations possible as you play the game.
I learned a few things that Beatbuddy can do. He’s able to swim and with a button press can swim much faster to speed through dangerous situations. He’s able to pick up and rotate objects with another button. Overall Beatbuddy’s strength is that you don’t need to think about the controls.
The controls in the game remind me of Ecco the dolphin. For those not familiar with the game it was released on the Sega Genesis and featured a dolphin that (for it’s time) was able to swim and navigate different areas smoothly and made you feel as if you were gliding along as you played. Beatbuddy has the same vibe, everything feels effortless. There’s never a jarring feel to the next action, everything is like one seamless action that makes you really feel like Beatbuddy is floating and speeding through the water. I prefer using a wired Xbox controller for the game but the keyboard and mouse actions are just as smooth.
My favorite thing Beatbuddy can do?
If you stay still Beatbuddy starts rocking out to the music playing. Full disclosure, I spent about 10 minutes watching that little guy dance to the music.
I had a great time previewing Beatbuddy, I can’t wait to get my hands on the full game.
Stay tuned for our review once Beatbuddy releases.