Features & Use
Test device: Samsung Galaxy Note II
Android version: 4.1.2
First off you should take a look at the Beat Hazard Ultra how-to within the main menu: it's clear, it's concise and its an excellent way to find your bearings. Here's my breakdown of the gameplay: you're behind the control panel of a (2D) space ship that's equipped with lots of weapons to help combat the enemy, as well as space trash. Enemy ships come at you in waves, i.e. in sync with the music that's playing. The more upbeat the tempo the more you can look forward to your weapons system rocking out—as well as more enemies to contend with.
As for power ups: the VOL power up will increase the volume and hence the weapon power, as well as make for wicked animations whenever you fire. POW will allow your weapons to fire several bullets at once. Super Bomb destroys everything in its vicinity. At first you are only given two of these, but you can collect more later on, as well as missiles and a shield (Ultra Beam).
The goal is to hold out until the end of the track and score as many points as possible. The score multiplier comes in handy for increasing your overall score. So long as you don't die the multiplier will increase your score by one point every 30 seconds. If you're feeling daring you can also increase the multiplier by holding your fire for a few seconds.
Collect money in order to unlock perks which will help you defend yourself and just generally survive. Perks are collected when you climb ranks. At some point you will be able to activate 5 or even 10 of these power ups permanently, including The Life Saver which awards you an extra life. This helps mix things up and keep the game fresh, even for long-term players.
There are other game modes: Survival Mode in which tracks overlap so that there's no pause between tracks, meaning you have to fight in order to make it out alive.Boss Rush lets you step up against a boss enemy, and Chill Out is a bit more relaxed .
Beat Hazard Ultra is a very well made game, both visually and the overall concept (i.e. combining music and action). Playing according to your favourite beats is quite something, and there are several game modes to experiment with. It's an enthusiastic thumbs up recommendation from me!
A tip: the game is especially fun with upbeat, fast-paced music that are clearly structured when it comes to rhythm, tempo and beat. I personally like to use dubstep as well as house, possibly hip hop and rock. I wouldn't recommend Taylor Swift and co.
Screen & Controls
Beat Hazard Ultra comes with great graphics: bright and engaging.
Controls are simple and relatively intuitive. Manual controls are available for weapons system. The only thing I'm not so keen on is how one navigates the menu: the scrolling is a bit different from what many of us will be accustomed to.
Speed & Stability
Beat Hazard Ultra ran very nicely and without and lags or bumps along the way.
Beat Hazard Ultra is available for €2.99 from Google Play—a fair price for what you're getting. What I didn't appreciate quite as much is the ad for another game within the main menu, and what's more it isn't even a free-2-play game.