Quadrant, a quirky indie title revealed at Bitsummit, reminds me a lot of Super Hexagon. Maybe it’s the low key visuals, frantic game play, or simply the fact that the game throws you right into the fire and expects you to survive.

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That is pretty much all the game is going to tell you about what to expect. Quadrant has only four buttons used to play: W, D, O, and K.

 

The placement of the square, as seen above, is the key the player is currently expected to hit. Northwest for W, Southwest for D, Northeast for O, and Southeast for K. If you haven’t hit the key by the time you see it, you’re already late. Hit the wrong one, and expect to see this screen after two or three presses:

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Quadrant is not forgiving. Fortunately, once it clicks, it becomes very addictive.

The square inside the directional indicator is the one to watch: it points you towards what key will need to be hit next. So in the above example, the last key was D, and the next will be O. The beats and visuals start out simple, but rapidly escalate as the song goes on and the rhythm intensifies.

The game flashes a massive epilepsy warning at the beginning, and with good reason: if you’re adverse to flashing colors and rapid assaults of trippy visuals, player beware.

One small complaint about the game: you have to unlock the higher difficulties, and other tracks, by scoring well on the lower difficulty songs. This could also be a plus for some, since it encourages the player to become good at the easiest track before moving on; as well they’ll need to.

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The music itself is somewhat reminiscent of Gaijin Games’ Bit Trip series. It sounds designed more to accompany gameplay than have much in the way of personality, but it suits the game’s atmosphere vividly. Tracks start out with simple electronic beats, and quickly intensify as the player endures a given stage.

It bears repeating: Quadrant does not treat failure lightly. To get a good grade, the strict grading scale expects pinpoint accuracy and high combos. Miss even three beats in a row, and it’s instant failure. Expect a mediocre grade at best just from missing a few notes during a track.

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The difficulty adjusts to player skill level, so the better you can keep the beat, expect escalating insanity to match.

Quadrant can currently be purchased either via the developer’s home page as well as on the Steam storefront for $3.99.

REVIEW OVERVIEW
Review: Quadrant (PC)
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Has played just about every rhythm game ever made, especially ultra obscure ones like Technic Beat and UNiSON: Rebels of Rhythm & Dance. His favorite rhythm games are Space Channel 5, Ouendan, Pump It Up, Beatmania IIDX, and DJ MAX. Despite his mother’s claims that he would be tired of video gaming by the age of 26, his obsession has only grown.