Indie Game Spotlight: Beat Hazard!

What would happen if Ikaruga, Asteroids and AudioSurf got together for some passionate fun? Beat Hazard would be the child!

For the first Indie Game Spotlight, I thought there was no better way to start than with Beat Hazard, a top down shoot-em-up from Cold Beam Games, set in the same vein as Asteroids, Ikaruga and AudioSurf, which lets you beat hoards of space ships with your musically powered laser cannons. The key to this game, like AudioSurf, is your own music provides the score to your battles. It determines the number of enemies and the frequency anddifficulty at which they appear, as well as the strength of your laser cannons and frequency at which they fire.

The Basic premise of the game is to survive for until the song ends, and this would be much easier if it weren’t for everything trying to kill you. the controls are fairly simple, with the wasd keys for basic movement and the mouse for aiming/shooting, except when you move the mouse it fires automatically in that direction and the left click becomes the super bomb, a familiar item from such games as Raiden. Alternatively the game can be controlled by the use of an Xbox 360 controller, with the left stick for movement and the right stick for aiming/shooting with the right trigger for the Super Bomb.

The visuals in this game are utterly stunning, with the brilliance of florescent lighting from stars and the laser cannon you’re more than likely firing all the time, this game is an assault on your visual senses, even the  background, with its stock standard five different types of dynamic backgrounds provides a nice little touch to make it all the more difficult to see those enemy energy balls when the music is pumping.

But it’s when a song gets quiet does the game really get difficult, because as you know, the song powers your weapons, and without the song, your weapons are reduced to piddling little pea shooters. So the moral of the story is, conserve your Super Bombs.

At a mere $7.80 on Steam and 400MS points from the Xbox Live Arcade, this is a small price to pay for an incredibly fun alternative to AudioSurf, or your latest easymodo Touhou’s.

About SolidBaker

Edward is the Australian Asshole of the group, you'll often find him bitching about censorship or the fact that he gets shafted on most video game releases. Solid has a penchant to rattle on about little niggling parts of games that he gets angry with and tends to get angry with them often. He owns most of the current systems and a lot of the older systems, and has a general distaste of most of the current generation of games, but that doesn't mean he can't enjoy them all the same.