Bit.Trip.Beat's absurd difficulty thwarts any attempts for the game to be fun.

User Rating: 5.5 | Bit.Trip Beat PC
Pros: Great satisfaction when you succeed; The combination of visuals and audio can be mesmerizing

Cons: The game is generally too hard; Tracks are too long; There aren't many tracks; Block types that inhibit your ability to play aren't fun

When you want to try something new, in many cases you often should start with something simple and build a strong foundation for future iterations. Such was presumably the intent of Gaijin games when they made BIT.TRIP.BEAT; the company wanted to make a series of unique rhythm games with interesting visuals and mechanics, thus they started by miming one of the simplest games known to man: Pong.

If you've ever played Pong you should be able to pick up the controls for BIT.TRIP.BEAT in seconds flat. You control a paddle on the left side of the screen, moving it up and down with the mouse. Your goal? To bounce a myriad of different blocks back to the other side of the screen. It doesn't really get much simpler than that. The twist that makes BIT.TRIP.BEAT interesting is how the blocks affect the music. Bounce a block and it makes a noise when it collides with the paddle. It then makes another noise when it returns to the other side of the screen. Thus, when flurries of blocks are introduced, some really neat musical patterns are introduced.

However, just because a game is simple doesn't mean it is easy to play, and BIT.TRIP.BEAT is most certainly on the hair-pulling end of the difficulty spectrum. The block patterns are complex, fast, and often use tricks to make them harder to recognize. This has a double effect: one the one hand, it makes success a truly satisfying condition, allowing you to slip into a groove as you play; on the other hand, success is quite hard and can lead to a lot of frustration.

Not that difficulty is bad, mind you, but BIT.TRIP.BEAT seems to be difficult in only the most irritating ways. While the patterns are interesting and complex in a fun way, the game takes a pride in trying to use its block types to fool you, even going as far as to introduce a block that makes your paddle invisible for a short time. And while the game is fairly lenient in its health bar, replacing the musical noises with beeps when the player gets low in health is obnoxious. And while a normal length song could be overcome with persistence, the 10 minute beasts of BIT.TRIP.BEAT give the player way too much time to make a critical error and have to restart the whole thing over again.

So, in short, for every time you get a feeling of success that makes your heart sing, BIT.TRIP.BEAT will provide at least twenty instances of pure computer-smashing frustration. And with only four songs included (including one PC exclusive), it doesn't take long to reach the point where you've either beaten the game or hurled your mouse at the wall. Simply put, finding fun in BIT.TRIP.BEAT is certainly possible, but it's a terribly inefficient way to spend your time and not worth your money.