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North America

Bit.Trip Beat

by Lukasz Balicki - May 9, 2009, 5:53 pm PDT
Total comments: 24


Gaijin Games creates an excellent retro revival with their first WiiWare game in the Bit.Trip series.

Reviewer's Note: The US version of Bit.Trip Beat has a saving bug that causes the game to save only if you get a high score. To rectify this issue, the developer uploaded a save file with the levels unlocked for players who are having issues unlocking them due to the bug. This bug is not present in the European and Japanese versions.

Bit.Trip is Gaijin Games' new series comprised of retro revivals with a modern twist. Its concept is very similar to Nintendo's Art Style series, which features simple but highly addictive games with great gameplay.

Bit.Trip Beat is a combination of Pong and a rhythm game. Players control a paddle located on the left side of the screen and must deflect a pattern of beats. The game also sports a drop in/drop out co-operative mode that allows up to four people to play. The only downside of this mode is that it can get chaotic if players don't actually cooperate, or if a player loses track of the color of their paddle.

To control the paddle players hold the Wii Remote horizontally, tilting the controller forward to move the paddle up and backward to move the paddle down. Players can also press buttons to create various sound effects, but this doesn't affect the gameplay. For some players, the level of tilt sensitivity may initially be too much, but they will eventually appreciate it. Later levels require a lot of precision as the patterns become faster and more elaborate.

The unique part of the game is the sound and graphics, since they are dependent on how well players perform on each level. Normally, the game has some background graphical effects along with a chiptune beat to go along with it. If players are performing well, the audio evolves from a chiptune beat to a more complex synthesized beat, and the background will also transition from a basic background with some minor graphical effects to a more complex background with a lot of different effects. If players perform poorly and are about to lose, the graphics revert to a black and white pong presentation with sounds only coming from the Wii Remote's speaker. The only drawback to the complex backgrounds is that they are sometimes eye-straining, especially if the players stare at fast moving beats that tend to flicker.

Bit.Trip Beat is relatively short. There are three songs, and each song takes about 15 minutes to complete (including the boss battle at the end of each song). It is possible to beat the game in an hour, but the game is so difficult that it will take most players multiple tries to beat a song. If players fail in any part of the song, they have to start over from the very beginning.

Bit.Trip Beat is one of the best WiiWare titles available, featuring simple, fun, and addictive gameplay. Gamers interested in unique and original games should definitely download this title. Hopefully the rest of the Bit.Trip series will be as good as this title or better.


Graphics Sound Control Gameplay Lastability Final
7.5 9.5 10 9.5 7 9

A great mix of Atari 2600-style graphics and HUD mixed with modern graphics in the background. The graphics can painful at times, due to staring at fast-moving flickering beats.


The three songs in this game are very catchy and addictive; I sometimes come back to it just to enjoy the music.


The tilt controls are fantastic. At first they might seem a little too sensitive, but they are very easy to get used to. It’s very much like playing Pong with a paddle controller.


Simple and addictive. Gaijin Games has done a masterful job of combining Pong with a rhythm game.


Dedicated players can beat all three songs in under an hour, but most players will require multiple playthroughs for completion. The replay value lies in the addictive songs and attempts for high scores.


Bit.Trip Beat is a very unique and original idea; it is also an excellent way to do a retro revival and mix it with modern rhythm-based gameplay. Gaijin Games has done a terrific job creating a unique game that stands out on WiiWare.


  • Addictive
  • Catchy and immersive soundtrack
  • Excellent motion controls
  • Great combination of old school and modern elements
  • Easy to lose track of your paddle in Co-Op
  • Graphics can be eye-straining at times
  • Having to always start over from the beginning of a song can be frustrating
Review Page 2: Conclusion


KDR_11kMay 10, 2009

Yeah, it sounds nice but I'm saving my other 1000 points card for Swords and Soldiers which was announced for next Friday.

Nick DiMolaNick DiMola, Staff AlumnusMay 10, 2009

The game sounds and looks like a lot of fun. I'll probably grab it with the next 2000 points I buy, and save the rest for some other game(s) I want.

I bought this but like almost all of the other games I've bought this year I haven't played it

I really like this game but wish it wasn't quite so hard.  It makes my eyes burn.

KDR_11kMay 10, 2009

I'm considering it but Swords & Soldiers got announced for next week and I'd rather keep my 1000 points card for that.

Quote from: Jonnyboy117

I really like this game but wish it wasn't quite so hard.  It makes my eyes burn.

What he said.

CalibanMay 10, 2009

I couldn't get into the controls quite as easily as all of you, but my eyes loved this game's visual style.

Flames_of_chaosLukasz Balicki, Staff AlumnusMay 11, 2009

I love the visual style but it is eye straining when you have to stare at the graphical effects, flickering and fast moving beats for 15 minutes per stage.  Caliban, what's your issue with the controls?

If the stages were like five minutes long or something shorter, I'd probably enjoy this game a lot more and play it a lot more.
And the co-op is so damn hard.

PaleMike Gamin, Contributing EditorMay 11, 2009

I love this game but I still can't even beat the second level. =P

It's a bit too hard.  I refuse to not get that challenge dot that makes your paddle so much smaller... yet I lose there every time because i can't hit all the dots when it's so small. =P

Pale, I had to memorize when that shrinking dot comes so I could avoid it.  Then I finally managed to finish the level.  You can always go back later for more challenge...

StratosMay 11, 2009

Maybe I just played way too many pong/breakout clones, but the shrinking paddle never phases me much and I never lose there.

The only problem I have is the length of levels because I don't typically have time to play much longer that the first level. Co-op is a blast.

What I don't get is why Gaijin can't upload a revised edition of the game to Nintendo's servers. Other games have had updated versions like Secret of Mana. Maybe they have but it has to go through the 'Convoluted Nintendo Certification Process' before it's posted.

CalibanMay 11, 2009

Quote from: Flames_of_chaos

Caliban, what's your issue with the controls?

The controls are a little too sensitive for me.
I guess I just have to train a little more, and I will get the hang of it.

Flames_of_chaosLukasz Balicki, Staff AlumnusMay 11, 2009

I have to admit they were sensitive in my first play through, but the learning curve for the controls is only a few minutes. You definitely need that amount of sensitivity especially in the second and third levels.

vuduJuly 03, 2009

So has anyone actually beaten the second level?  It just goes on and on forever.

The first time I beat the second level I didn't get a high score so it didn't save.  :(  Luckily, I beat it with a high score the next time I tried, so it wasn't that big of a deal.

I can get 80,000+ on the second level (more than enough for a high score) but still no signs of the boss.  I keep dying on this part where there are the bouncing blue balls shortly after the 4th white challenge ball.  I have a feeling the boss is pretty close but I fear I'll never see it.  :( :( :(

StratosJuly 03, 2009

I have not. But I haven't played the game in a bit. I went back to some older VC and WW games. I'll try my hand at it tonight and see how far I get.

Why would they release a save file instead of patching the game like Nintendo does?

StratosJuly 03, 2009

Quote from: MegaByte

Why would they release a save file instead of patching the game like Nintendo does?

Maybe Nintendo makes people jump through hoops to add anything like that. Or maybe they only allow it in game breaking situations.

vudu, I beat the second level. The trick for me was to skip that last white ball that shrinks your paddle. The boss is not long after that, and it is very cool.

Nintendo has done things like patch Star Fox 64 to make the Classic Controller work just slightly better. I think Gaijin just doesn't want to devote the time and effort to coding a patch and pushing it through Nintendo's lot check.

KDR_11kJuly 04, 2009

Quote from: Stratos

Quote from: MegaByte

Why would they release a save file instead of patching the game like Nintendo does?

Maybe Nintendo makes people jump through hoops to add anything like that. Or maybe they only allow it in game breaking situations.

I'd call that game breaking but whatever...

StratosJuly 04, 2009

Quote from: KDR_11k

Quote from: Stratos

Quote from: MegaByte

Why would they release a save file instead of patching the game like Nintendo does?

Maybe Nintendo makes people jump through hoops to add anything like that. Or maybe they only allow it in game breaking situations.

I'd call that game breaking but whatever...

By gamebreaking I mean crash the game. I agree it can ruin the game, but the powers that be may not deem it thus.

KDR_11kJuly 04, 2009

BTW, from what I heard it's enough to get a highscore in ANY level to have your progress saved, you can beat lv2 and make a highscore in lv1.

broodwarsDecember 02, 2009

I picked this game up a few days ago after playing the demo, and damn this game takes no prisoners.  I managed somehow to slog my way through Transition (the first level), though much cursing came when I thought I was at the end of the level and then a boss appeared to initialize Bullet Hell.  -_-'  I just cannot get through the Descent, though.  I always die at the part where they start tossing barrages of those bouncing green beats at you.  No matter how well I try to position my paddle, they always bounce past me just a little higher or a little lower.  It's frustrating as hell.  I also wish they had the "hearbeat" sound coming out of the TV speakers instead of the Wiimote speaker when you're in the Netherworld, because it just sounds like crap coming out of that thing.

They must have fixed the save bug, though.  I was nowhere near a High Score on Transition, and yet I definitely have Decent unlocked whenever I want it.

StratosDecember 02, 2009

They posted a game update that fixed it a few weeks ago. I never did get to the last level either. I should go back and try now that I can start straight from the second level now.

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Bit.Trip Beat Box Art

Genre Rhythm
Developer Gaijin Games
Players1 - 4

Worldwide Releases

na: Bit.Trip Beat
Release Mar 16, 2009
PublisherAksys Games
eu: Bit.Trip Beat
Release May 01, 2009
PublisherAksys Games

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