HomeTheXboxHub News...Nintendo NewsStrut along to your own rhythm in Backbeat

Strut along to your own rhythm in Backbeat


Backbeat Xbox

Remember back when music games were all the rage? I don’t mean the likes of Rock Band and Guitar Hero where extra peripherals were required, I’m talking about the likes of Dance eJay and Music 2000. Those kind of games where you could become a music producer, as much as the hardware at the time would allow. Here is another game where you can make music but by, checks notes, walking?! Find out exactly how as Backbeat launches today on Xbox, PlayStation, Nintendo Switch and PC.

A homage to videogames of the 1990s, Backbeat is set in the dying days of analog life and the birth of the internet. It is a play on the old-school sokoban puzzle games with a musical twist. That is, the block pushing games that we will have all inadvertently played at some point, whether a full game or as a minigame.

Backbeat is centred around Stephanie “Watts” Watson, a musician in a bit of a funk creatively. That is until she discovers the magic of funk music itself. Along with a full band she has recruited, they attempt to win their local Battle of the Bands.

Here is where Backbeat gets interesting as you make music by moving around the levels. Each band member moves differently, and you will need to travel backwards and forwards in time to make sure each member hits their required steps at the correct time and avoid any obstacles. It is easier said than done but completing a level rewards you with some custom music depending on the steps you take! Replaying levels can yield different results and pieces of music. Experiment to find your perfect funk sound.

Backbeat also features:

  • Multilinear time-based environment puzzles
  • Character-driven story set in 1990s suburban America
  • Shared squad resources and rewindable turns to optimize your solutions
  • Sequenced combo moves and 40 levels of strategic madness

If Backbeat sounds up your street then why not give the demo a try first on the Xbox Store. Or, if you are already convinced, Backbeat is on the Xbox Store priced at £29.24, with a discount down to £26.31 for a short period. There is also a double pack combining Backbeat with Hexagroove and this can be found on the Xbox Store for £49.99. Whichever you choose, let us know in the comments below.

Game description

A mashup of puzzle and strategy games. Manipulate four threads of time to guide your band through sokoban-style puzzles. Manage squad resources over a set of limited turns. Experience a homage to 1990s ensemble dramedies. Customize the dynamic soundtrack with audio effects. === STORY === Stephanie “Watts” Watson, an aspiring bassist, bounced from audition to audition never finding music that really resonated with her, that is, until she discovered the magic of funk. Caught up in the groove, she recruits a group of hometown amateurs to take on art school darlings La Tormenta at the Battle of the Bands. === MECHANICS === Each character in your band moves through the map in different ways, encountering unique solutions and obstacles. Advancing a character consumes a turn and part of the timeline, setting up interactions with other characters and enemies at different points in time. Rewinding a turn undoes your move, allowing you to find improved solutions and new ways to tackle problems. Manipulate each character separately, rewinding or fast-forwarding along the timeline in the process to reach her current point in time. Changes in time are reflected in the progress and actions both past and present of each character, creating some possibilities and removing others. Each character has his own resource-limited super move which can be triggered under certain conditions. Tip toe through tight spaces with your bassist, slide through guards with your keytar player, break through walls with your drummer, or blow enemies out of the way with your mighty super sax. Strategic use of your super moves increase the number of solutions to each puzzle and are the key in gaining a maximum score. Four resource-based musical metrics govern how and when you can move and interact with objects in the levels. These can completely block progress if used inefficiently, and create amazing musical chains and high scores when regulated artfully. === MUSIC === Join Watts as she grows on a musical journey rooted in funk and fusion. Soulful grooves and hot licks are composed by Pete Fraser, session saxophonist to the The Pogues, Friendly Fires, and Field Music! Twenty musical motifs are recorded by a live ensemble of seven funk masters, providing the foundation for the dynamic music in the game. Unique songs are generated depending on what directions and paths you take in each puzzle. Customize your performance with alternate playing styles, instruments swaps, and realtime audio effect pedals. === CONCEPT === Backbeat is a homage to the 16 and 32-bit story-driven games of the 1990s, recreating the challenges and victories of the last days of analog life and the birth of the internet. The suburban Washington D.C. area is reflected in diner parking lots, shopping malls, and dimly lit arcades. A colorful cast of supporting characters both friend and foe join Watts as she struggles with leadership, success, and holding together a band.

Richard Dobson
Richard Dobson
Avid gamer since the days of Sonic the Hedgehog 2. Grew up with the PS1 and PS2 but changed allegiances in 2007 with the release of Halo 3.
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