Beat Hazard Ultra

System: PC PSN XBLA OSX Linux iOS Android
Developer: Cold Beam Games
Publisher: Cold Beam Games
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17 Mar 2015
Beat Hazard is a twin stick shooter (mouse and keyboard can also be used), that uses music to organise attack waves. The faster the music, the faster the enemy and both you and the enemies rate of fire.

You know when you see a health warning at the start of a game? Well with this game, it really does mean it. If you suffer from epilepsy, this game is certainly a title to avoid. If you don't know if you have epilepsy or not, then you will soon find out after playing for a minute or two.

Beat Hazard is absolutely jam packed with orgasmic eye candy and strobe effects, its just wrong to not let your vision experience such a pleasurable onslaught of colour.

The game is very reminisent of a mash-up of Asteroids and Super Stardust. The strength of your primary weapon is dependant on both the music, and its power.

The power is built up by collecting 'Pow' tokens left by a destroyed object or enemy. The loudness of the music can be maximised by collecting 'Vol' tokens. If you max out both the power and the volume bars (displayed on the bottom of the screen), then you activate Beat Hazard mode. This gives your weapon added power, and the visuals to accompany the music gain more oomph.

Collecting money tokens will eventually allow you to buy and unlock perks. These can be equipped from the main menu. Perks range from additional weapons, to pre-wave bonuses such as multiplayers and tokens.
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There are four additional weapons (technically three, if you don't count the shield as a weapon, although the shield can be used as a weapon), all with a chance to upgrade to maximum efficiency. Not only that, there's also a super bomb equipped as standard, with perks you can increase the number of super bombs you start with. The super bomb will kill everything the aftershock touches once detonated.

Beat Hazard also has an online mode, that will allow one of you to choose a track that you both have, if you and the other player don't have the same music, Beat hazard has that covered too, with its selection of in-built tracks, plus a selection of online radio streams.

Local co-op on pc is a bit of a let down, as one of you will have to use mouse and keyboard, it's still fun, though one of you won't be as comfortable on the couch with a keyboard and mouse set up.

If you haven't gathered by now, Beat Hazard allows you to use your own music, with an online leaderboard keeping track of the best scores and on what music track. I play high paced tunes, being a bit of a raver, the music and visuals certainly appeal to me, though this game has many players who are fans of other genres.

This is by far, the most entertaining way to listen to your music. It's also ideal to put on, as an interesting way to start a party, before too many drinks have been had. If people start dying before the end of the tune, ruining the flow of music, then just put it in visualisation mode (or put it on easy).

With four game modes, various difficulty levels (Jedi Masters have it on suicidal), various visual levels upto 200%, online and local co-op, and pretty much an unlimited experience of gameplay (depending on how large your music library is), Beat hazard is certainly an epic twin stick shooter.

You can extend Beat Hazards lasting appeal with the addition of the Shadow Ops DLC. With this you can create your own craft, do missions to unlock more craft (crafts have various pro's and con's), or even download spacecrafts that others in the community (PC) have created. The community has some great creations, such as various ships from Starwars, and there's even a Back to the Future Delorean.

Having played in excess of 200 hours, you can be assured that this game has lasting replay value, spanning over a long period of time. Beat Hazard Ultra is a game that should be in everyones collection.

Recommended Specs

Drive Space
2 GHz
256 MB
1 GB
40 MB



Overall Score




Available on Steam.

Online is Cross Platform between some systems.

Versions Tested
PC, Android, XBLA