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Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Indie Puzzle Game Review - Descend to the Beat

Descend to the Beat by Baygull Studios is a puzzle game that comes across as the love child of Columns and Trip-a-Tron... it's a puzzle game that contains 3 game modes, Arcade, Challenge and Puzzle.  The arcade mode is a constantly changing trip through the challenges; the challenges are individual levels where you have to complete a specific goal, while the puzzles are set scenarios in which you have to find the correct combination of moves to complete.  The basic idea is that blocks fall from the sky onto the game area, and you have to fill the whole area to demolish a level.   Let any one stack build up too high and you lose.

Not an earth-shatteringly original concept admittedly, but it's done very well here, and in full 3D - thankfully there's a 2D representation of the floor level as otherwise it can be quite difficult to keep track of what's going on down there.  Personally I find pretty much all puzzle games get boring after a while, but this one had me playing for quite a bit, and the 3 game modes offer very different challenges.  To me the best mode was Arcade, which gives you not only puzzling to do, but hands it to you at very high speed.  The action comes thick and fast, and the tile sets used for the game constantly change in this mode, so it's a visual smorgasbord as well as offering hectic game play.

With a title like "Descent to the Beat" you would expect a stomping soundtrack to go along with all this, and the game delivers with aplomb.  It feels a bit too repetitive in the Challenge and Puzzle modes, which isn't too much of a problem as they offer shorter individual playing sessions, but in Arcade mode the soundtrack, like the visuals and game itself, is constantly changing.

All in all Descend to the Beat is an extremely polished puzzle game, and if you like Columns-esque puzzlers that end up at frenetic speeds, you're definitely going to enjoy this.  Descend to the Beat is available for PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone and Android devices (PC version reviewed here).  The desktop computer versions are more expensive (and have more features).  See the official website for more details or to buy the game:
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