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  • Results from Game Design Challenge: DSiWare

    - staff

  • Vladimir Villanueva, Artist, Beat Box

    "Beat Box" is a single level, vertical shoot-em-up in which the player controls a small aircraft in destroying "Box," a giant floating stereo which fires sheet music and commands fleets of "keys" to the rhythm of an .aac audio file chosen by the player. The player must defeat "Box" before the audio file ends: failure to do so causes "Box" to escape off screen.

    "Box's" size is roughly one-fourth of the top screen, lightly swaying left and right, moving to different part of the top screen from time to time. "Box" has three methods of attack: a barrage of colorful notes, a beam of varying width that resembles the "staff" of sheet music, and long, thin, horizontal "beat" lines that fly down into the touch screen.

    Accompanying "Box" are small enemies known as "keys." "Keys" fly in groups, snaking down from the top screen and down to the touch screen before disappearing off screen. Being hit by "Box's" music or colliding into "keys" will cause the player's aircraft to take damage and eventually explode, ending the game.

    "Box's" firing pattern along with the amount of "keys" on screen is dependent on the the audio file chosen as background music: fast-paced songs causes "Box" to fire a massive amount of notes as fleets of "keys" swarm all around, while slower songs will cause less commotion to show up on screen.

    The player controls"Tempestuous," an aircraft which occupies a small portion of the touch screen. The player moves the aircraft with the stylus: touching "Tempestuous" and dragging the stylus will cause the aircraft to move.

    Touching "Tempestuous" and quickly dragging the stylus or touching the screen far away from the aircraft causes ship to burst with acceleration towards the stylus' new location. While accelerating, "Tempestuous" can ram into enemy "keys" and "note" bullets, hurling the obstacles back at "Box."

    The player's ability to perform bursts of acceleration is limited by a quickly-regenerating energy meter. Bursts of acceleration can only be performed when the energy meter is full. Therefore, short bursts will use a light amount of energy, while longer bursts that travel across the screen will require a couple more seconds to recoup from.

    "Tempestuous" mainly defends itself by firing waves of errant sounds. The L or R button is used to fire the aircraft's selected wave: auto-fire is performed by holding either button down. The directional pad or the letter pad is used to change weapons. Up/x selects a straight-forward wave.

    Left/y selects a homing wave that lightly damages multiple targets. Right/a selects a spreading burst of small waves. Down/b selects compacted balls of waves that slowly move forward, bursting either on impact or shortly after being launched. The player wins if "Tempestuous" hits "Box" with enough waves and reflected "notes" and "keys" before the audio file ends.


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