When I think of music games, I usually think of Dance Dance Revolution, Guitar Hero, or Rock Band. Beatbuddy: Tale of the Guardians is a "musical action-adventure" game. So instead of playing along to a song, it's more about following the beat and tempo.
THREAKS is a German independent developer and is releasing its game through Reverb Publishing on PC, Mac, and Linux.
THREAKS sent a preview and I got a sample of the first two levels. Beatbuddy is an interesting mix of action-adventure gameplay mixed with puzzles involving the arrangement of music and how you interact with it in each level.
The plot of Beatbuddy is about you, as Beatbuddy, fighting against Prince Maestro and his army to save Symphonia, the world where the game takes place.
There's wasn't any combat from what I experienced as you spend more time maneuvering underwater solving environmental puzzles, collecting gems, and beating crabs in the head to make them hide.
Screenshots don't capture the magic of the game in motion; there is a lot happening. Using layered 2D sprites, Beatbuddy has an amazing visual look that uses different levels to create a flat three dimensional background.
Beatbuddy is mainly linear, though there are branching areas for exploration. The use of color and aquatic environment creates a very creative environment.
There wasn't any type of combat in the preview, I spent most of the time trying to find keys to open doors or using anemones to bounce off of to break walls made of shells. But the focus of Beatbuddy is the music. The music creates the perfect atmosphere when swimming through a level.
Music plays an important part in the game. The environments react to the soundtrack like barriers of bubbles pusling to the beat. Different percussion instruments are assigned to different creatures like the crabs that attempt to block your path and cause damage. Following the tempo gives you an advantage because it's a hint to how the game will react.
For example, crabs will hide for a limited number of beats until they deploy their spikes again. Timing movement is important and this can be achieved by listening to the music.
The preview of Beatbuddy: Tale of the Guardians showed its core gameplay, but I'm curious about how the rest of the game will play out when the game releases on August 6, 2013. The preview showed potential and it looks like there is more to be seen.