Beat Hazard is a game in which everything is synchronized to your favorite music. Gameplay-wise, it’s a regular 2D shoot ’em up in space, not unlike Asteroids or Project Starfighter. The player controls a small starship that fires at everything on the screen, from asteroids to enemy spacecraft, in order to survive. When hit by an obstacle or by enemy fire, the ship explodes. The goal is to survive as long as possible and score more points to unlock bonuses and receive ranks.
What makes gameplay in Beat Hazard innovative is that every level is based on a song from the player’s music collection. The song defines the speed and rhythm of the game. A similar approach was previously used in Audiosurf, but never before in a shoot ’em up. Enemy attacks, your ship’s fire, and power-ups are synchronized to the song and can be predicted if you remember the tune well. The difficulty is also dependent on music. A power ballad or an ambient piece will do for a slow, meditative play, while a trance or heavy metal composition will turn the game into madness. The game’s visuals are very bright and feature many rapid flashes, which makes Beat Hazard not recommended for people with epilepsy.