Beatbuddy: Tale of the Guardians is an action-adventure game that utilizes music throughout the majority of the gameplay to create an amazing audio-visual experience.
Composed of hand-drawn 2D high resolution sprites and a soundtrack featuring a mixture of high intensity drum and bass along with impressive Jazz beats, Beatbuddy: Tale of the Guardians is the evolution of using music as a primary mechanic.
A soundtrack to match the addictive gameplay
Most of the time in Beatbuddy: Tale of the Guardians, you just play as Beatbuddy. Swimming through the linear environment, you have to open passageways, break barriers made of shells, and escape from huge predators.
Beatbuddy isn't invincible and needs to break shells to regain his lost life meter. Enemies include various swimming creatures and as well as the world itself. Hermit crabs dance to the beat with their spiky legs and the environment will try to crush you against coral.
The soundtrack in Beatbuddy: Tale of the Guardians creates the ambiance for the entire level. It actively plays a role depending on where you are in the level. When things get intense, the song starts to speed up and you know that something is going to happen.
Puzzles also interact with the music's beat as some puzzles have to be matched against the current song that's playing. The first couple levels don't introduce much of the expanded world in Beatbuddy: Tale of the Guardians, but once you get into the game, the music is both your friend and enemy.
Best with headphones and controller
As an action-adventure game, Beatbuddy: Tale of the Guardians thrives through the use of a controller. It's much easier to control movement and attacks for precise aiming.
Using headphones helps to imbed your senses in the world of Symphonia. It's also easy to get distracted by the fast tempo music that serves multiple purposes.
The technical requirements aren't that high for the game, so it's one that can be enjoyed across a range of hardware.
A perfect symphony
Beatbuddy: Tale of the Guardians isn't going to interest everyone. Even before trying the game, I was skeptical. But once I started playing it and getting past the first level, I saw and heard how the music worked with the gameplay.
It becomes more pronounced as you continue with the more difficult levels and you have to keep track of where the beat is to solve some puzzles. Beatbuddy: Tale of the Guardians doesn't just present puzzles in the levels, but evolves them to make them more challenging.
The visual style is amazing with a pseudo-three dimensional style of layered 2D sprites. Each enemy and character is highly detailed and the animation movement is impressive.
Once you start playing, you have to get past the first level to really see the expansion of all the ideas that THREAKS put into the game.
A big, welcome surprise
Beatbuddy: Tale of the Guardians isn't what I expected when it was introduced as a game that has a strong use of music. The whole design is a welcome change for adventure games and the use of music is one of the best I've ever heard.
The gradual increase of difficulty is welcome and Beatbuddy: Tale of the Guardians doesn't directly penalize you for making mistakes. It's looks simple on the surface, but contains one of the best gameplay experiences this year.