A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Beat City, a mostly innocent music rhythm game, has a few moments of slapstick violence and potty humor, though nothing more explicit than what children would see on SpongeBob SquarePants. The worst of it involves people in need of a toilet squirming as they wait in line outside a bathroom. Otherwise this is a game about saving people with the power of music.
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What's it about?
In the psychedelic story of BEAT CITY, a failed opera singer leads her Cacophony Corporation into the titular town and steals all the color, rhythm, and vibrancy from its people. Along comes the Groovy Whale from outer space, who transforms one of Beat City's citizens into a human music machine called the Synchronizer. The Synchronizer has a speaker in his forehead and he joins up with another freedom fighter, Beatrice, to travel around Beat City, playing music and re-igniting the creative sparks of the people, animals, and even plants of Beat City.
Is it any good?
Beat City is an incredibly likable game with a great look and an addictive play style. To play, all you need to do is learn three moves and perform them in time with the increasingly complex beats that the game provides during its mini-game scenes. There is music, of course, but if you play it right, the sound effects also become part of the song -- swishes, whispers, and chomps all add to the melody. The really fun part is seeing what happens as a result of your performance. Doing well may cause rainbows to sprout on the horizon or flowers to grow; it may cause people's clothing to change or their hairstyles to become funkier and more colorful. Strange things like animals in sailboats or smiling clouds may appear. It's trippy, but has the effect of not only making the characters happier, but the player as well. Beat City is a game whose tone, feel, and effect on players matches is message and storyline perfectly.
Talk to your kids about ...
Is keeping time and rhythm a skill that can be important outside of playing music? Where else in life would the ability to keep time be useful?
Does a rhythm game like this inspire children to make music of their own? Does playing make you want to learn an instrument? Does is make you want to listen to music?
In the game, it is not just music, but bright colors also, that bring joy back to Beat City. How do music and colors affect your moods? Can vibrant colors or upbeat music really make you happier?
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