Fun, funky, and more challenging than it can look, this fresh take on a puzzle game simply does its own thing
Filling a sort of unusual niche by being both a unique puzzler, as well as almost a music game (while music is very central to the experience, this isn’t a rhythm game), Backbeat is a strange bird without a doubt. You’ll quickly assemble your ensemble of 4 musicians, each rocking their own style, looking to make your mark as an up-and-coming funk band. To get there, though, you’ll need to learn to work in synch with one another and that’s where the puzzles come in. Each band member will start in their own spot, and you’ll need to guide them each on their own independent path to a reserved space… but you’ll also need to do it efficiently because you only have so much time to burn. While your first 2 members are pretty straight-forward, always moving the same number of spaces, the patterns for the latter 2 are a bit trickier to nail down I’d say. That’s where I’d say the game’s greatest weakness lies, in failing to clearly guide you on how the game is to be played. It gets the basic concepts down, but I felt unclear on a number of details and that wasted some time as I’d get the hang of the idea simply through brutal trial and error. Since you can end up feeling a bit lost sometimes, not knowing what to do, some sort of rudimentary hint system would also be greatly appreciated, especially as you get into stages with multiple obstacles to deal with, sometimes needing to happen in a specific sequence. It takes a big risk to be different, and that’s appreciated, but it may be a lot for people looking for something more casually-oriented.
Justin Nation, Score:
Nindie Choice! [8.0]