Prepare For Pixel Punching Fun
When it comes to mobile beat-em-up games, there have been some clever offerings over the years. Most of these have featured retro-style pixelated graphics and lots of punching noises, but many of them have lacked the polish and addictive gameplay Beat Street brings to the game.
Described by developers Lucky Kat Studios as a “love letter to the 90’s”, Beat Street doesn’t fail to deliver all the nostalgia we’ve been craving. We also keep finding ourselves craving pizza while we play, a desirable feature which Lucky Kat unfortunately does not deliver. But don’t worry. It’s got literally everything else: colorful pixel graphics, zany characters, cool backgrounds, exciting combo attacks, and countless baseball bats and broom handles to pummel your enemies mercilessly with.
Beat Street offers more than just fun times beating the crap out of evil human-sized rodents. In fact, we think there’s a lot of qualities Lucky Kat adds to this nostalgic experience that set standards for future games.
Retro, Meet Responsive
What a delight it was to discover that Beat Street adapts to your screen’s orientation. That means you can play it with one hand or two, depending on your preference or present circumstances. We couldn’t decide which we preferred. Holding the phone in landscape mode definitely makes it feel more arcade-like, but it performs just as well in portrait mode.
The game controls are fairly easy to get the hang of, with just a bit of a learning curve. You’ll figure out how to move around and deal punches in no time. One of the things we really loved about the controls was the directional movement. So many of these retro throwback games go for a virtual d-pad or joystick. While those approaches definitely can work, they also take up valuable screen space and at times can feel awkward. Beat Street has created a sort of “implied” joystick (we don’t know what else to call it). You move around by having your finger on the screen and dragging from anywhere in any direction. A tiny arrow in front of your character indicates direction. This works wonderfully, and is another example of why Beat Street is not only a great throwback game but also an example of touch-screen UI ingenuity.
Beat Street doesn’t come without some traditional elements of your typical free-to-play game with a profit scheme (cough…gems.), but they’ve done so in ways that have not sacrificed the integrity of the game itself. There is a considerable amount of free in-game content that will keep you playing for a while, and they tend to go for the less-aggressive “watch an ad for extra rewards” approach that has become pretty popular lately.
All things considered, Lucky Kat is doing a great job monetizing without compromising what they set out to create: a fun-filled, masterfully-designed tribute to the 90s that is well worth supporting.