Game Review: Beaterator
Available Platforms: iPhone/iPod Touch
ESRB Rating: Everyone
Beaterator is a music creation game from the creators of Grand Theft Auto. It features the music and inspiration of super producer Timbaland. The original version released on the Sony PSP, and now Rockstar has given us a pared down version for the iPhone/iPod Touch.
Beaterator successfully takes a deep music creation game and puts it in the palm of your hand. If you want to remix some exclusive tracks that Timbaland created, you can easily do that within minutes. If you want to dive into the deep end and start from scratch, you will be rewarded with hundreds of sound bytes and quite a few options to tweak. If you’ve ever wanted to create a song but have absolutely no talent, Beaterator will make you feel like you’re The Neptunes in no time. Beaterator succeeds in putting so much at your fingertips you will feel overwhelmed, but once you dive in that will slowly disappear.
Basically, the game gives you a pallet of spaces you use to assign sounds to. Once you’ve chosen your sounds and filled your pallet, you can tap them to activate them. They will go until you tap them again to stop. This allows you to have complete control on what sounds go off and when they go off. You can build up to a crescendo, or set an entire row off at once with a double tap. Once you get your sounds in place, you can adjust the reverb, gain, and rate of each. When it’s perfect, record it and upload it to the Rockstar Social Club to be heard and remixed.
It may be a symptom of the amount of sound bytes in the game, but I could not help but notice some slowdown and hiccups when choosing sounds and during previews. It’s a small complaint, but still a little annoying when trying to listen to dozens of different clips to find just the right one. This may not be an issue on the 3Gs iPhone, but it was noticeable on my 3G.
Also, the game presents you with some instructions in the beginning, but offers no help once you’re past that and I could see no way to view those instructions again. Unfortunately, this made me do a lot of trial and error work just to figure out how to copy and paste and start with a blank pallet. I was also unable to sign up for the Rockstar Social Club via the app and therefore was unable to upload my songs. I’m sure I could go to the website and sign up, but I think the point of having this app on your portable device is so you do not have to do that.
Even without using the Rockstar Social Club to upload my songs, it was as easy as plugging my phone into my PC’s mic plug and recording my songs via a program like Audacity. For me, this is preferable since it’s easy to export an MP3 and send it along via e-mail. That is one feature that I think these types of apps lack, the ability to export to a MP3. That being said, if you’re at all interested in creating your own techno this app is a must buy.
To give you an example of what is possible with this app, I created a song for Platform Nation. I also employed the I Am T-Pain app to give it a little extra punch. Check it out.