Beat Hazard is a recently released music based arcade shooter game by developer Cold Beam Games. The concept of the game is to basically create levels out of your music collection. Each song generating into a different pattern of enemies that fly towards you from the sides of your screen as you sit in your lone space fighter, firing a wave of what has been best described as “liquid lightning” into the path of the oncoming opponents. You are forced to duck and weave through hordes of obstacles ranging from small to medium sized ships, asteroids and large boss ships, not to mention the barrage of weaponry they are capable of sending your way.
The First thing you will notice when starting this game, is the mesmerizing strobe lights that flash in the background during the game. It should be noted that those susceptible to epileptic seizures probably avoid playing this, or at least have a friend nearby to keep an eye on you. However, if you can handle them, you will be entirely drawn into them as they are quite over the top and spectacular. This game earns particular praise from me due to its high aesthetic appeal with relatively simple graphics processing compared to modern day games.
The Power of your weapon, the movement and pattern of enemies you face, and the strobing background effects are dictated by the intensity, beat and general flow of the song you have chosen to play. The stronger the song becomes, the more powerful and brighter your weapon becomes. Each song is different from the next in a rather substantial way thanks to their generation system, but the best part is, this is by no means random. Playing one song twice will yield a similar experience, allowing you to “master” your favorite songs.
Video of Gameplay:
The Boss battles are fantastic as well. You will be warned by a siren and text at the bottom of your screen before the screen begins to shake as one of several large ships (occasionally, and at harder difficulties, 2) rumbles onto the screen bristling with turrets that begin to open up on you almost as soon as you see them. These battles require precise tactics to avoid the several different weapon varieties the bosses are capable of dishing out at you, while still being able to still focus all of your fire on the boss and destroy them piece by piece.
The amount of replay for this game is quite near infinite considering as new music is added to your collection, essentially new levels are created for this game. I personally have had an incredibly enjoyable time on these tracks: Blink 182 – Online Songs, Weezer – Dope Nose, The entire Album “I Get Wet” by Andrew W.K. is also quite amazing. If you’re looking to push yourself to the next level then you can try to play a DJ set mix. These are electronic music mixes that feature live DJ’s playing many songs back to back for 15-45 minutes and up for those of you who don’t know. One particular mix I recommend is: Amon Tobin Live at Marry Anne Hobbs. This particular mix is 30 minutes long and maintains a strong enough intensity to ensure your survival throughout.
Thankfully due to its mini game nature, the system requirements and price are incredibly low.
OS: Windows XP/Vista/Win 7
Processor: 2.0GHz processor
Memory: 512+MB of RAM
Hard Drive: 40+MB of free hard drive space
Graphics: 256MB of video memory
Sound: DirectX-compatible sound
DirectX®: 9 or later
You can visit the developer’s website here, as well as find more outlets the game is sold at, and visit their forums.
Overall I have to give the highest praise to this game and the developers, since there is no comparison to the value of game play you get. They really put effort into their product, and it shows, not to mention they listen closely to the responses of gamers on their website forums, so far implementing several suggestions from the community.