With so many lacklustre indie titles making their way to the Xbox One it’s heart-warming to see titles like Beatbuddy: Tale of the Guardians standing head and shoulders above the crowd. Produced by Unity 3D developer. Threaks, Beatbuddy: Tale of the Guardians is a side scrolling, rhythm based puzzle adventure that seamlessly blends an animated water environment with soundtrack keyed-gameplay.
The plot centers on the diabolical plans of the nefarious Prince Maestro who is intent on seizing control of the underwater planet Symphonia. In order to do this Maestro must first steal all of Symphonia’s music so that all of its inhabitants will be forced to, ahem, dance to his tune (Groan – editor). Well, anyway, while robbing Symphonia of its music Maestro kidnaps sisters Melody and Harmony and it’s your job as their brother (a tiny blue blob called Beatbuddy) to rescue them.
The majority of Beatbuddy: Tale of the Guardians will have you navigating your way through six levels of brightly coloured underwater labyrinths, nodding your head to coral reef creatures pulsating with jazz riffs and catchy snare drum beats. As far as scratching your head goes, the puzzles in Beatbuddy: Tale of the Guardians are pretty low pressure as the levels are not timed. And with the music playing in a continuous loop you can find yourself losing hours without realising it.
Borrowing heavily from previous games such as Sonic The Hedgehog, Beatbuddy: Tale of the Guardians will often task you with destroying conch walls by launching yourself from bass drum anemones and accessing new areas, matching the beat with snare streams, finding stranded locks and spinning pipes around in a particular direction so you can float through them. And as you progress, more instruments are added to the track you’re listening to creating a wonderful feeling of being the creator of the groove. Excellent.
As a music based game, the tracks in Beatbuddy: Tale of the Guardians are pretty critical to the game’s success. And we’re pleased to report that Threaks have done a first-rate job in securing great tunes from the likes of Parov Stelar, Curtis Newton, A.G. Trio and French Horn Rebellion. The sound track to the game is likely sell as many units as the game itself. That’s how good the music is. Graphically, Beatbuddy: Tale of the Guardians is nothing short of a visual feast. The 2D seascapes look almost hand drawn while Beatbuddy and other characters in the game have a more next-gen cell-shaded look.
Beatbuddy is also replete with humorous and colorful characters, such as the plankton cops and the delightful German sounding creature who turns up to work with Beatbuddy but spends most of the time trying to hit on his sisters. The only minor niggle we had with the game was that some of the puzzles got slightly repetitive and we were often tasked with performing the same actions again and again. However, this minor gripe aside Beatbuddy: Tale of the Guardians is a breath of fresh air in the crowded indie market and one definitely worth exploring.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Microsoft Xbox One code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Gameplay - /10
Graphics - /10
Sound - /10
Replay Value - /10
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