When you stray away from all the Guitar Hero clones on the App Store, there are some unique musical experiences to be found. One of the most recent is called Beat It!, where you must listen to a piece of music and recreate the percussion through means of a sequencer. The resulting experience is immersive, even if short-lived.
An intuitive touch-based interface makes it easy to input new beats into the sequencer. Tapping and dragging on boxes fills them with the note of their respective instrument. Pressing down on an instrument allows you to mute it while you work with the rest of the song, a feature we found immensely helpful on more complicated beats. Moving between different measures is done through swiping on any part of the screen not occupied by the sequencer.
See the music, taste the rainbow.
The game is spread across five themed areas, each with its own style of music and custom drum kit. A few examples of these include hip-hop beats to bouncing rabbits and trippy off-time synths in a fantasy rendition of the Glu headquarters. Each of the areas includes roughly ten levels, and each evolves the scene in the background and the complexity of the beats.
After you complete each area, its theme and drum kit become available in free play mode. Here you can mix any combination of backgrounds and kits to create your own beats. These can be saved once you finish them, but unfortunately there is no way to share them with friends or pass the device to somebody else to see if they can recreate your beat.
Welcome to diabetic coma-land.
These drawbacks to free play mode and the short length of the main game (which comes out to about two hours, depending on your musical ability) kept this unique title from gaining our highest score. If you are the kind of person who enjoys making beats, though, then these factors may not matter once you beat the campaign.
Also, it’s important to note that Beat It! is extremely difficult to play using just the iPhone’s speakers. Therefore, we recommend you use headphones so that you don’t miss any of the low sounds. This is less of a con of the game and more of Apple’s speaker quality, but it will definitely affect how well you play.
If music creation, discovery, and wacky scenarios that hop to the beat are your fancy, then Beat It is worth checking out.