Hands-on: Beatbuddy: Tale of the Guardians at PAX East 2013


While at PAX East 2013, I got my hands on a little title called Beatbuddy. I didn’t know much about the game, other than it being published by Reverb and that it had a cute mascot. The development team at Threaks briefly explained their game to mea nd then handed me a controller. What I experience was a music action-adventure game that brings the music to live in visuals and gameplay.

Music literally drives the game. You control the titular character Beatbuddy – and adorable, blue creature with headphones. Your goal is to work your way through each of the six songs in the game (each song is its own level). The song is alive through the level design and how you interact with it. The level starts simples as a bass drum beat, which is the beat to Beatbuddy’s movement. You’ll notice certain interactive plants or objects in the level each represent a different instrument in the song. You tack on instruments as you pass them, adding layer upon layer to the song.

What’s cool is how the music is featured in the puzzle gameplay. If you need to pass through orbs that change colors, you need to time your passing through them with the hit on the cymbal. The environment pulsates with life and music, each built to bring the song to life. If you mess up, the beat doesn’t go to shambles with your mistake; simply consider the beat of the song to be the solution to the problems in your adventure. Music fades in and out, as well. Moving away from a pulsating plant representing a kick drum will fade the music out; likewise, approaching one will fade it in. At one point, I got into the Beat Car, which boosts and moves to the beat.

The visuals are reminiscent of Rayman Origins. Watching each part of the environment bring a different instrument to life is masterfully done with vibrant colors and visuals. The character of Beatbuddy, whose on a mission of figuring out who he is, is adorable. He’ll be a lot of fun to play as through the game, and he, just like everything else in each level, is equally as important to bringing each song to life. The 2D visuals and the animations within it are greatly detailed, as well.

The controls are simple, but really effective, and you have a boost to help you pass through some beat-oriented obstacles. The music that drives the game, like I said, is all 100% original. I recommend wearing a really nice set of headphones or a nice gaming headset to get the full effect of the song and all of its intricacies.

[youtube_embed src=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HVTKYK2o4Jc”/]

Beatbuddy has catchy, original songs that drive the game’s mechanics. It’s an interactive music experience like no other, featuring charming graphics, catchy songs and dazzling gameplay. You can find Beatbuddy on Steam for PC and Mac, and it will be available in Summer 2013.