Take a really versatile and colorful music visualizer and mix it with a game that acts a lot like Asteroids and you have Beat Hazard. Beat Hazard is an indie game with a price hovering around US $5 on Steam and in the Xbox 360 store.
Music is the centerpiece for the game as your power increases with the intensity of the track played. Visual effects also flash across the screen with slamming notes, all making the experience fuse very seamlessly with your listening experience. Sound effects are few though they seem very well places when they hit. Music is provided but can be pulled from a local folder on your hard drive. The provided tracks are very good.
Graphics are an area where Beat Hazard shows off its true nature. Warnings are given for anyone that is prone to seizures especially during the Hardcore game modes where the flashes of light and color can actually be a distracting influence on gameplay. The graphics tend to give you a headache after a while especially when your music has a fast tempo.
Beat Hazard has three difficulty modes (Easy, Normal and Hardcore) and each one presents a very different experience as you attempt to make it through the song. Controls are simple and easy to pick up and understand. Power ups and bonuses are available as you destroy asteroids and enemies. Some of the more effective powerups include a volume increase for the music playing in the background. The louder and more intense your music is, the more powerful your guns.
This is quite literally Asteroids with a music visualizer plugged in to create something a lot less blah. Between Beat Hazard and Geometry Wars, I’d have to hand it to Beat Hazard for creating something that adds a lot of eye-candy to the classic genre. Geometry Wars may give you less of a headache.