Music is a very powerful tool through a very long history, and it has been applied for so many situations and circumstances. One great application for music is games, and there are a number of good music based rhythm games. There’s the usual Rock Band and Guitar Hero, as well as their clones, but the best iOS music games are Radio Flare Redux and Groove Coaster. Both provide a unique game mechanic that is tied to the music rather than being solely focused on the music. Beat Hazard Ultra offers the same idea, just with a dual stick space shooter, and over the top visual effects.
From the moment you launch the game, you know that you’re in for something special. The game begins by tying to your music library, and then you’re off to space battling a plethora of enemy ships and asteroids all to the beat of your music. The base shooter gameplay has been seen before, but the waves have a bit of a pattern based on the pace of the song. The most noticeable connection to the song is your actual bullets which pulsate and flair based on the back beat of each song.
The most mesmerizing aspect is the visual design which provides flashing colors across the whole screen, and it must be seen to truly be appreciated. The music, gameplay, and visuals are intrinsically tied together to a degree not seen in any game. There are four different game modes for your choosing, and you can pick classic for one song for one round, or survival for songs linked together. The game is definitely high on challenge with all of the hectic action on screen, and it’s a bit tough spotting your ship among all of the visual flair.
The game does pick a few songs to play a number of times, which is definitely odd and a bit disappointing. The controls are smooth, though they can be a bit problematic when moving your ship the length of the screen. Also, if you pick up either thumb, and then place it back down you’ll end up activating a special item more often than not. The game isn’t quite perfect, but the overall feel is unmatched in the App Store, and there’s also a great visualizer mode to simply listen to your music.
Beat Hazard Ultra ($0.99, Universal) is a must buy that will absolutely blow you away as you’re fully engrossed in the entire experience with each part interacting so well together. Everything is connected, and it makes you fully appreciate your music as you feel the music flow through your entire body as you’re blasting away enemies.