Music games always have it tough. There's always a more limited appeal to making your own tunes, and even then, there's only so much you can do to it. To appeal to a wider audience, I think Beat the Game went the extra mile to put in a 3D world and story, but it only did so much to make it more than a simple music game. So how'd it do? Well...
You are Mistik, a man with a love for fingerless gloves and striped clothing. After a motorcycle crash, you wake up in a strange world, where you find new sounds and build up enough to make music. Quite honestly, the story did nothing for me. I was expecting Pikmin, but with sound. But what you really get is a guy collecting enough sounds to make some techno music. That's all there is to it. The game's story doesn't really add up – all it is is a catalyst for music making.
I can't say much for controls. It's all walking and occasionally putting sounds together, so there's not many controls. It's very basic – it's mostly the scenery and music to worry about. But, with what there is, controls work.
Now the graphics are amazing. It's like Salvador Dali met up with the Ren and Stimpy people and decided to make a game. It's all so otherworldly and bizarre it's great. If the story wasn't a bike accident, but instead a music maker who trips to make music, it would be so much more believable. The 3D graphics are rendered amazingly well. It's quality, with any parts that would have been realistic replaced with something surreal, with colors being all over the place. It looks amazing and even feels amazing.
There's not too much with gameplay. You walk around the world and occasionally get a sound to put together. That's it. That's the entire gameplay experience. Okay, and making some beats. I really wanted more. I finished the entire game in less than two hours. There should have been a lot more, but no. You meet a character here and there, but these are cut off in cutscenes. You can't even interact all that much.
While the individual sounds are basic, it shines again on the music. Not only do you make your own, but no matter what you put together, it sounds amazing. It's all techno and electro. Since the goal of the game is actually music, it very much delivered. Marc Houle did the music, and you can tell. One of the best pieces of integrated music since Tangerine Dream did GTA V.
I played through the entire game and I didn't encounter a single glitch or error. Not even the frame rate slowed down. With the music and the graphics going full blast, it didn't slow down once, which surprised me. A lot of bang with no hiccups.
Beat the Game looks good and sounds amazing, and if that was all you'd need for a game, it would get a 10/10. But sadly, the nearly non-existent story, little characterization, barely any gameplay, a short play time, and other limitations hurt it. For $7, it's certainly affordable, but I can't say I recommend it unless you like music based games. Or if you like Djing – the very market I think they wanted to expand from.
Final Score: 5.5 out of 10
A copy of this game was provided for the purpose of review.