In August, Just Shapes and Beats bounced it‘s way onto our screens as part of Stadia’s August Pro games goodness. It’s a title I decided to jump into pretty much straight away and we’re bringing you a review in the event that you haven’t yet given this game a try but are wondering what to expect.
The first thing to say before anything else, is that this game is so much fun whether you’re playing through any one of the game modes. We’ll dive into to each of the game mode so you know what to expect.
If it’s your first time playing the game, be sure to check out the tutorial level before going straight into story mode, just so that you can get a feel for what the game is going to be like along with it’s very simple mechanics.
You’ll start life and run through the story as a little blue square, which is the games’ main character, where you aim will be to dodge and dash yourself away from the multitude of obstacles that will be thrown your way through different music tracks as you play each of the levels.
Each time you get hit by an obstacle or hazard it will take a piece of your square away, which acts like health and as soon as you run out of coloured pieces of your square, you will end up restarting the level either from the start or from the last checkpoint you passed through the music track.
In navigating through the each of the 5 chapters, you will come across a boss at the end of each one, until you reach the final chapter. Once you complete a level in story mode, it unlocks and makes it available for playing in playlist mode, one of the other game modes we’ll come on to shortly.
If you do find some of the levels a little more than challenging as you get further into the chapters, the developers have very kindly sneaked in a casual mode, which essentially offers you the ability to get hit a little more before you find yourself dying in a level. They won’t judge you in the slightest for turning this feature on.
So you’ve made it, you’ve beaten the final boss and you’re feeling pretty pleased with yourself.
What you will find is you’ve now unlocked challenge mode, which will be made available and you’ll be able to select it from the main menu on the title screen.
Challenge mode is open to being played either solo or in multiplayer where you will earn beatpoints by completing not only randomly selected levels but also specific challenges, such as completing a level without using the dash functionality and you guessed it, you will most certainly be challenged.
This mode gives you the ability to play any of the 39 levels within the game but with the added difference that you can choose the order. So whether you want to practice, are trying to complete more challenges, you’ll get the choice to play your way.
As the title of this game mode suggests, it’s very much the option for fun. In party mode you can play until you’ve expelled all the rhythm from your dance moves. You can’t break in this mode, so if you take damage and you’ve taken all the hits that would normally see you die in story mode, you will just simply float around the screen for a short time and then you’ll respawn.
Just Shapes and Beats will provide you with a few hours of fun in the story mode and it doesn’t stop there as you move into the other game modes. Multiplayer will have you laughing and shouting at your team mate as they will no doubt make a mistake or two, possibly even not reach you in time to enable you to respawn.
It may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but we highly recommend at least giving it the chance to take up some of your gaming time. You won’t regret it as you dodge every shape it throws your way and drops some serious beats.
As mentioned at the start of this review, the game is available as part of your August Pro games but if you’re not a pro subscriber, it’s priced at $19.99 or £14.99 if you’re in the UK.
Taking into account the sheer fun, game modes available, it’s a well deserved 4 out of 5 stars for this musical number.