Version Reviewed: 1.2
Device Reviewed On: iPod Touch 2nd Generation
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Beat Hazard Ultra is a unique arcade-shooter that offers almost infinite replay value. The basic premise is that players pilot a space ship while shooting enemies. The remarkable twist is that every level is dynamically created to match the background music.
Players can choose from any song on their iOS device or from a list of Internet radio stations as the song to generate the level from. The enemies and weapons the ship fires are synced with the song playing.
However, when the music does becomes intense, the volume of enemies and bosses becomes quite high. Combined with an increase in the power of the ship's weapons, this can cause the screen to become quite cluttered. The bright colors of the weapons on a black background don't help in making sense of everything on the screen.
Due to this level generation mechanism, the game has an incredible amount of depth and replay value. Every song is essentially its own level. There are four game modes to choose from for each song: Standard, Survival, Boss Rush, and Chill Out. The controls are similar to the controls of other top down shooters for iOS. The player can choose to use only one virtual analog stick to focus on movement and let the app take care of firing, or the player can control both the ship movement and direction of fire. Beat Hazard Ultra also includes twenty-three perks, which are like power-ups that give you more lives, score multipliers, or other various abilities: definitely a necessity for long, fast paced songs.
Each time the app is launched, the device's library is scanned. It takes longer than most games to load due to this fact. A search bar would be a nice addition, as well, to expedite the song selection process.
Beat Hazard Ultra is a great game and is a steal for 99 cents. There are a few minor issues, but the many positive aspects of the game overshadow them. Music lovers and arcade junkies will all find something to love about it.