Music-reactive shooter Beat Hazard Ultra blasts onto the App Store

Beat Hazard is a new iOS release from UK-based one man studio Cold Beam Games. It’s available as a Universal app for both iPad and iPhone and is currently enjoying a launch sale price of $.99. The game had a strong showing in this week’s emerging paid iOS apps list, currently sitting at No. 33 in the Top Paid Apps chart, No 27 in Top Paid iPad Apps, No. 23 in Top Paid Games and No. 13 in Top Paid iPad Games.

Beat Hazard is a simple arcade-style shooter where players are challenged to fend off waves of various enemies using one of two different virtual joystick control schemes. In single-stick mode, players simply control the ship to avoid obstacles, and it aims and fires automatically. In dual-stick mode, players move with one thumb and are able to fire in a different direction with the other.

The waves of enemies which attack the player are generated from the audio waveforms of the background music. During quiet moments, the player will enjoy periods of relative peace. In loud, frenetic sections, the player will be bombarded by enemies. These effects are amplified by collectible “Volume” powerups, which increase the intensity of the background music — but to counter this, players may also collect weapon strength powerups. When both volume and power reach their maximum intensity, the player enters Beat Hazard mode, in which their weapon is significantly more powerful.

The player is able to use the music in their device’s Music app as background music, meaning that every player can potentially have their own unique experience with the game. Online leaderboards are ranked according to track length rather than by individual song, allowing players to compare performance on roughly equivalent pieces of music — though those challenging more difficult, intense tracks will likely achieve higher scores if they are able to survive.

The game is a paid app but also carries some optional additional in-app purchases. The $.99 “Awesome Gold Ship” option is simply a vanity option that allows players to give the developer a little extra cash with no particular gameplay benefits. There are also three different packs of in-game currency available for purchase, allowing the player to more quickly unlock special abilities to add depth to the gameplay. Purchasing any of these packs with real money unlocks all of these possible “perks” for use with the in-game currency, meaning players will have to “grind” less to be able to use them. There is no obligation to purchase any of these packs, however, since in-game currency is earned with every play, and perks are gradually unlocked through a leveling system.

Beat Hazard Ultra is likely to enjoy some good success due to the good reputation of its PC and console-based counterparts. Its quick play sessions make it an ideal mobile game, and the fact that players are able to integrate their own personal music collection into gameplay gives a much greater sense of ownership over the experience than comparable twin-stick shooters available on the App Store.

You can follow Beat Hazard Ultra’s progress through the App Store charts using AppData, our tracking service for social and iOS games and developers.