A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
The game is about the power of music and bright colors to make people happy. It's a generally positive message that trumps the little moments of slapstick and immature humor.
Positive Role Models
The heroes of Beat City are bright, colorful, cheery types who only want to make people happy. With the exception of one mini-game in which they hit evil robots with a hammer, they don't do anything violent. They save people with the power of music. However, there is a little potty humor. One mini-game has men lined up outside a restroom, squirming and tossing toilet paper rolls to the mystery guy causing the holdup inside. Missing a beat during a magic show mini-game causes the magician to pull a pair of underwear from his magic hat.
Ease of Play
There are just three basic moves to learn: tap, slide, and hold. Knowing when to perform each move is where the skill comes in. The game has a very nice tutorial mode built in which allows you to figure out exactly how to play each mini-game before actually getting scored on it. The difficulty curve is paced to allow easier going in the beginning and more challenge later on.
Violence & Scariness
Some minor slapstick takes place during the game, mostly as the biproduct of failing to hit a beat: A mime pokes the hero in the eyes, incorrectly thrown cupcakes or buckets might hit an animal on the head, the heroine gets shocked (an briefly becomes a flashing skeleton) if she fails to jump over a sparking wire. One mini-game also requires the heroine to bash humanoid robots with a hammer (they turn into ducks when she hits them).
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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.
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.
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Our Editors Recommend
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