Beat City - Review

Beat City
Rating: E - Everyone

It's a one trick pony but a trick with many variations. Basically you respond to the music's beat in three different ways - a short jab at the screen with the stylus; a swoosh at the screen; and a press and hold - you are given prompts on the non-touch screen.

The mini-games have an endless variety, not only in rhythm but also with interesting situations - magic show, heart beat, toilet wait, rush hour, wire dancing, filling cones with ice cream or veggies - and this is only about half of them.

Story Mode is a bit obscure because there are no words, no text, just a cluster of pictures to click on as you progress through a calendar - each day containing about three mini-games. There are tutorials for every game - sometimes they are harder than the game itself since the tutorial expects a perfect score. The actual game is easier because you only need a score of 30% to proceed to the next day/episode.

The Story Mode links together the mini-games to tell the story of a city beset by the evil Carcophony Corporation whose CEO is the vengeful singer, Dame Isolde Minor who is turning the inhabitants into drones for the factories. To the rescue comes Groovy Whale, with natural rhythm and beat. He connects with a remaining vibrant citizen with a speaker in his head and together they're out to save Beat City and its inhabitants.

The music is simple and catchy but sometimes annoying when you need to repeat a game over and over. Turning the sound off is not an option because it provides musical clues. Visuals can also be used as clues but sometimes they are more confusing than helpful, so you go back and forth between musical and visual clues. What constituts being "on time" for the beats is confusing and the margin of error is nil. Eventually, as you repeat the game a number of times - you can get a score high enough to proceed. More information besides what's in the manual would have been appreciated.

The better you score, the more color accessories appear on the characters. Simple graphics, simple tunes are a fit for this game - the surprise comes in the novel situations and the number of ways you can tap, press and hold and swipe the screen. It is played only with the stylus and with DS held vertically. Knowing what to do can be frustrating but when you get the hang of it, it will keep you going long after you come to the check out counter.

Fun Factor: An unusual rhythm game.
Female Factor: You are lucky to get a guy with a speaker in his head.
Player Friendly: Takes awhile to figure it out - margin of error too small.

Reviewed by: Editor - May/10

  • Beat City
  • © THQ
  • Platform(s): DS