Today one of my favorite indie games received a much needed expansion, and I’m here to inform you of this wonderful gem’s existence and explain how kick-ass this upgrade is.
Beat Hazard works because it throws together two of the greatest things ever: Bullet hell games and music visualizers. You start up the game, pick a tune (your music works too, buy the iTunes converter, trust me.), and get to blasting away. Now, Instead of the usual weapon upgrade pick-ups received in bullet hell games, you pick up power and volume upgrades. Power is self explanatory, your weapon gets a little stronger each time you pick one up. Volume raises the master volume of the track, getting you more pumped up and into the rhythmic action. Once you obtain five power and five volume pickups you enter BEAT HAZARD mode and you shoot lots of extra bullets and have a higher chance of survival.
All the while the game is super colorful and exciting for your eyes, until they begin to strain, and that’s about it. The original didn’t have too many bells and whistles, and the only lackluster thing was enemy and boss variety. Thankfully this is improved with today’s release of the Ultra expansion. Tons of new enemies and bosses are added with a meager five dollar upgrade. I’ve seen the same boss multiple times but it’s always a variation, with different weapons and setups that keep the boredom to a minimum.
Other new features include some new weapons, the addition of online play, a perk system that was slowly integrated into game-play before the expansion, some new base game music, and the ability to increase or reduce visual feedback to increase or reduce your chance of contracting a seizure. The co-op is notable but doesn’t do anything special, more just to enjoy music and violence with a friend. Unfortunately, playing with someone random online requires you to have the exact same song on your computer, regularly limiting you to the free indie music in the game.
The grand entry is the addition of boss rush mode, which continually plays through your music collection throwing bigger and badder bosses at you faster and faster. The intensity of this game mode increases quickly and is one of the greatest thing I’ve played in a while. Probably because of the lack of decent bullet hell games recently.
So if you enjoy music or bullet hell games or seizures, you will enjoy this game incredibly. There’s not much else for others. This is just an indie dev that wanted to put a fun way to play music into the hands of all. Enjoy.