ESRB rating: Everyone
Review rating: 4.0 stars
Modern consoles let players customize the background music of most games, but what about actually changing it during game play? Well, "Beatbuddy: Tale of the Guardians" is an unusual adventure game that requires players to interact with original songs while solving puzzles to progress.
Players assume the role of Beat, who along with his sisters Melody and Harmony, are the guardians of a surrealistic undersea world called Symphonia. When a self-absorbed prince wakens Beat from his slumber, only he can traverse the aquatic labyrinth to restore peace and ... err ... harmony.
I really enjoy how the undersea environment revolves around the music for each level. For starters, creatures move and attack to the beat, which creates a soothing rhythmic vibration that flows over each level. This makes the changing music integral to the game instead of just a repetitive looping song.
Players can interact with the music in several ways, such as bouncing off a sea anemone bass drum to not only create a drum sound, but also fly through obstacles. It's also fun to punch the clam conductor so you can pass through his retracted band of spiky hooligans before their spikes return. Another cool feature is how some enemies only take damage when punched in time with the beat.
Some areas let players hop into a durable undersea vehicle equipped with a powerful machine gun that adds variety to game play. The machine gun comes in handy for destroying both obstacles and enemies. In addition, the vehicle moves along in pulse with each level's beat and also has a short but useful boost if players push the button on the right beat.
Addictive and unusual game play combined with great music and a cute main character makes "Beatbuddy: Tale of the Guardians" deserve a standing ovation.