Also available on 3DS, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Android, iOS, Linux, OSX, and Windows
Bit.Trip Beat is the first game in the Bit.Trip series. Originally released on Nintendo's WiiWare service, the success of the game and the series it spawned saw ports to multiple platforms. What makes Bit.Trip Beat so awesome is that its extreme simplicity is complemented by extreme addictivity.
Beat essentially plays like someone said "What if we took Pong and made it a rhythm game?" You play as a paddle on the left side of the screen and have to bounce dots back as they come from the right side. Simple, yeah? There's only three levels, but each one is a marked increase in difficulty. You end up with dots that come back to you until you hit them multiple times, dots that burst into multiple dots, and even legit boss encounters. In addition to all of that, the dots fall in rhythm with the music so that every time you hit one back, the sound effect adds to the melody. It's a very simple concept, but it's a lot deeper than you first think.
The game has a very Atari 2600 aesthetic, but the visuals just serve a purpose; the star of the show here is the music. The soundtrack is absolutely phenomenal. I can't speak for the controls on other platforms, but tilting the Wiimote up and down to move your paddle feels so fluid and natural. The Wii really was the perfect platform for this game. I've played around with it on Vita a little bit, and while tilting the Vita up and down certainly works, it feels a lot more natural on the Wii. Whether it actually does perform better on the Wii or it's just my console bias speaking, I can't say, but it's a great game regardless.
Bit.Trip Beat is an inconspicuous little game that ended up garnering a cult following and fairly prolific series, and once you play it, it's not at all hard to see why. It takes the simple Pong formula, adds rhythm game mechanics, and turns it into something wholly new and addicting. It may not have the flashiest graphics, compelling story, or intricate gameplay, but it's fun, it's addicting, and it's got a killer soundtrack. I have zero problem recommending this game especially given how easily available it is.
My Rating - 4 Neps
I'm a teacher.
And I like to play video games. I like to collect video games. I like to talk about video games, and I like to write about video games. During the day, I teach high school history; during the night, I spend my spare time gaming. Then I write about it.