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TechBeat Heart Review

Official Score

Overall - 85%

85%

Designed for short burst sessions, TechBeat Heart encourages players to come back for just one more run. This vertical shmup doesn’t reinvent the wheel, but it doesn’t have to - its focus on the fundamentals pays off in dividends.

User Rating: 5 ( 1 votes)

Combining shmup action with roguelike elements, Lost Machine Games’ TechBeat Heart is poised to deliver synthwave stylings with over-the-top action. Should players immerse themselves with this pairing, or does it try to do too much?

TechBeat Heart Review

Much like the arcade shmups of old, the objective of TechBeat Heart is simple: kill or be killed. This vertical shmup gives players three tools at their disposal – a constant firing button, a special button that gives players a blast of firepower, and a third button that slows ships down for fine-tuned finessing. There’s also a number of power-ups that can be yours along the way, including a laser, sword, flame, and V-Shot – not too bad.

And players will need all the help they can get. Enemies always pose a constant threat, and hitting the small danger zone of a ship just once means certain death. This definitely puts the pressure on – no health bars here – but it is just as easy to get right back into the action. This is one title that is designed for quick burst sessions. It worked wonders for indie darlings like Hotline Miami, and it works here as well. The average run (especially when starting out) is a bit on the short side, but those who get used to threats on all sides of the screen can keep things going for a bit longer.

Along the way, players will have to rack up a high score through the use of its multiplier system. This works as it should, forcing players to always be on the offensive in order to get ahead. Those that rack up a high enough combo can net themselves more seconds on the ever-ticking clock, with players facing the boss when things clock down to zero. Hard work is rewarded with a spot on the leaderboards to evoke that old school arcade spirit.

While each run follows the same principles, there are a few things that can vary things up each time. Players can choose between Mads and his UK hardcore music or Crys and his synthwave beats to change up the overall feel of each run. 43 achievements have also been included, which encourage players to reach an S+ grade, kill the Heart, and reach different point goals.

Rounding things out is a great visual presentation with some solid sprite work. TechBeat Heart doesn’t reinvent the wheel, but it doesn’t have to. Rather, it expands upon established principles and polishes the world of shmups to a shiny sheen. Players best come in with a taste for neon, but the art style that it does feature works well here.

Designed for short burst sessions, TechBeat Heart encourages players to come back for just one more run. This vertical shmup doesn’t reinvent the wheel, but it doesn’t have to – its focus on the fundamentals pays off in dividends.

This review of TechBeat Heart was done on the PC. The game was purchased digitally.
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Casey Scheld

Drawn to the underground side of gaming, Casey helps the lesser known heroes of video games. If you’ve never heard of it, he’s mastered it.
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