Thursday, 21 July 2016


According to Wikipedia Pong was released in 1972.  BIT. TRIP. BEAT. was released in 2009 and it just goes to show how far along even a simple concept such as pong can go in such a short time.

BIT. TRIP. BEAT. is a sort of Pong/Rhythm game where you play as a pong paddle drifting through space knocking back dots that fly across the screen in time with the music.  There's not much of a story to speak of and that's essentially all of the game play but thanks to a decent amount of challenge and a good soundtrack it's weirdly compelling.

The game throws all manner of dots at you ranging from normal ones that just fly straight across the screen to ones that will try and juke you out and even dots that have invisible connections to other dots creating a weird sense of panic when they fly at you and it doesn't initially look like you can send them back.  As you play you have 2 life meters, one which builds up when you miss and one that builds up when you successfully hit a dot back.  Hit enough dots back and you go into "Hyper" mode where the visual effects get all crazy and the music becomes more "normal" sounding as opposed to the retro feel of the regular mode.  Miss enough dots and you will level back down from hyper mode, miss even more and you enter null where the music cuts out and the graphics look like the original pong game.  Miss even more dots from there and it's game over and there are no checkpoints in the games lengthy levels so you have to start all over again.

The game is played mostly for score so if you aren't into that then maybe you wont get much excitement from BIT. TRIP. BEAT. after an initial play through but if you're a perfectionist who just needs to top those online leader boards then this game is for you.  It's cheap on Steam at £7 so even if you're just mildly into music games or Pong then it's worth checking out.  The BIT. TRIP. series is sort of long running and well known for a reason so do yourself a favor and kill a lazy weekend with this trippy pong-like.

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