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iPad  header logo

Reflec Beat +

For: iPad   Also on: iPhone

Hard to beat

Product: Reflec Beat + | Developer: Konami | Publisher: Konami | Format: iPad | Genre: Music/ Rhythm | Players: 1 | Version: Europe
 
Reflec Beat + iPad, thumbnail 1
If you can remember playing air hockey with your best mate at the local bowling emporium, your head buzzing due to that litre of pop you just gulped and the Hi-NRG music pumping out of the Japanese arcade machines around you, you probably grew up in the '90s.

More pertinently to this review, you probably already know what it feels like to play Reflec Beat + on your iPad.

Reflec's action

I went into Reflec Beat + completely blind, thanks in part to some appalling translation in the How To Play section. I emerged from my first attempt blinking and bewildered, like a grandfather in a nightclub.

This is a pounding sugar rush of a game that combines Whac-A-Mole reaction-based thrills with beat-matching rhythm-action skills.

Faced with an air-hockey-like tablet, you're bombarded with multiple discs, all pinging off at various angles and headed for your goal line. It's up to you to destroy - or repel - these discs by touching them at the point they hit said goal line.

The more accurate you are in tapping them at the right point, the higher your score.

Oomph-oomph-oomph

All of this is set to a pounding J-techno soundtrack, and you'll soon realise that the bombardment of discs actually matches the beats of the track.

Discs come in a number of forms, from the normal ones that need a quick tap to those that require a sustained hold. You'll also get special discs that move over a small area above your goal line, which need tapping at the appropriate moment.

Then there are the golden discs, which you can slide back towards your opponent. Yes, this is a competitive battle game with an AI or human-controlled opponent defending his side of the screen in the same way. Throwing some discs back in your opponent's direction is a great way to upset his rhythm.

One weakness of this same-handset multiplayer mode is that you have to rely on the iPad's tinny speaker to project the sound. We usually find that a good set of headphones is essential to games such as this, and they certainly enhance the single-player mode.

Compact disk

In terms of structure, well, there isn't any. You're presented with three songs for free from the off, with additional packs available for a slightly steep £2.49 in-app purchase. Each track can be played on three difficulty levels, and believe us when we say these get really tough.

There's not much sense of progression here - you just play each of the tracks and try to improve your high score. There are unlockables, but these just allow you to customise the look and sound of the table.

Still, who needs a variety of modes or a structured career mode when your fingers and eyes are being battered into submission?

Reflec Beat + is the gaming equivalent of a slush puppy and a quick visit to the arcades - short-lived and shallow, but no less thrilling for it.
 
Reflec Beat +
Reviewer photo
Jon Mundy | 21 November 2012
Reflec Beat + injects the rhythm-action genre with sugar and caffeine, and the resulting buzz is as thrilling, exhausting, and short lived as you'd expect
 
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