Last week I caught a demo of Beatbuddy: Tale of the Guardians, a unique platform/music game developed by Threaks and being published by Reverb. Executive producer Ted Lange took me through the game and chatted with me after the demo. Beatbuddy features a story by Rhianna Pratchett and music from Austin Wintory (Journey). Lange described the game as being “familiar and different.” It has platform elements that will instantly feel familiar to gamers that have played loads of Mario and Sonic games, but also has a distinct art style and makes very unique use of music.
Beatbuddy stars a globular hero named Beat. He’s one of three musical spirits, along with Harmony and Melody (though he totally looks like a water-type Pokemon to me…perhaps Manaphy’s cousin). The evil Prince Maestro wants to enslave music, while the ethereal music spirits think that music should be free for everyone. It’s up to Beat to lead the charge and liberate music. (Rumor has it that Beat, Harmony, and Melody are in cahoots with Kim Dotcom.)
As I mentioned in the intro, the game features unique use of music. Each level’s track is broken up so that different objects and enemies represent different musical instruments. For example, a menacing creature will pulsate to the rhythm of the track’s bass drum, while obstacles will move in time with the hi-hat. As Beat moves closer to a particular enemy or object, the corresponding instrument’s sound will become louder. The music — and the individual instruments that make the track — define the level as much as the art and layout. It’s a unique twist that adds a cool layer of interactivity.
The game’s art is beautiful and distinct. In an age where 3D rules the roost, it’s refreshing to see a videogame with hand-painted art. The color palette and style give the game a charming look, while the use of layers gives it a pseudo-3D feel.
Check out my interview with Ted to learn more about the game. As a fan of old-school NES and SNES platformers, as well as a fan of music games, I’m really looking forward to Beatbuddy. After you’ve watched the vid, leave your thoughts on the game in the comments section (please!).
Beatbuddy: Tale of the Guardians will be released on August 6, 2013 for Windows PC, Mac OS X, and Linux for $14.99.