After endless hours in my man cave playing the remake of Resident Evil 2, I finally beat it. That left me with plenty of free time on my hands. So I turned to Steam and the new releases tab. There are plenty of new games coming out right now but one in particular caught my eye. It’s name is Sonar Beat and it is a rhythm game with an interesting twist. Instead of the notes coming from one direction like in Guitar Hero, Beatmania, DDR and most others or from all over the place like in Osu! or Gitaroo Man, they move in a circle. A sonar scope to be precise.
You have to time your clicks with the music and the “hand” of the sonar scope. Beats start from the outer circle and if you miss them they move to the next circle, closer to the middle. If you miss a note you get to try hitting it again next time around. I think this is a very interesting twist on the traditional rhythm game mechanics.
A rhythm game like no other
Sonar Beat has an interesting and colorful style, unlike any other rhythm game I have played. Each of the 12 different tracks has its own personal style and look. And speaking of the tracks, it’s worth mentioning that they are original electronic songs. Some have a calm and atmospheric vibe, and others have a more upbeat and rhythmic sound.
The Life Zero team
The team behind Sonar Beat is called Life Zero and it consists of Miguel Vallés Susín, Elena Herrero Jaén, Denis Asensio Palacios, Roxanne López van Dooren, The Chavarria Brothers and Elena Cortés Alonso. We contacted them to ask a few questions about the game and their team. Miguel Vallés Susín, a programmer of the team, was nice enough to do an interview with us. The following are the questions and answers from that interview.
Q: What was the inspiration behind your game?
A: We wanted to create a fusion of the musical and arcade genres, and by that we looked to tons of musical games, and we soon found what was common to all of them: linearity. In almost any other musical game this past decade, the gameplay progresses forward parallel to the music, so we though “this is where we can do things differently” and thus came the core gameplay mechanic of Sonar Beat: recursivity. In our game, if the player misses a note (or ‘beat’) it will come back one step closer in the next spin of the radar, increasing the difficulty.
Q: Tell us a little bit about your team/studio.
A: We are a young team balanced between members with previous experience and first-timers. Some of us come from developments like Spacelords (MercurySteam) and Candle (Teku Studios), and when we founded Life Zero we decided to start small with a quick development like Sonar Beat so we could grow from it.
Q: How long has the game been in development?
A: 5-6 months.
Q: According to you what is the most interesting thing about the game?
A: As we said in a previous question, the most prominent feature of Sonar Beat is its fusion of a “pure” musical game with arcade mechanics such as the accumulation of notes and the slight randomness of their spawning, since we wanted to go all-in with the sonar theme and so we made each playthrough unique by randomizing some of the notes to make the player feel more “in the wild” and less “playing a tune”.
Q: What are your future plans for the game?
A: We will be taking a look at possible bugs and issues that happen to our users post-release, and our most immediate plan is to start working on the consoles version of Sonar Beat, as well as studying if a Linux version would be feasible.
Where can you find it?
Sonar Beat is for sale on Steam. It is also available on mobile in the Google Play store and the IOS store. You can also get it from their website here. There you can also check out their other projects and learn a bit more about their team.