B.E.E.P. – An exercise in frustration.

Okay so the title of the review is a bit antagonistic.  At least, it might seem that way to the game’s developer.  I might normally be inclined to change it to put the most positive spin on the game, but this is exactly how I felt while playing the game.  I want to let you know up front that I only played it for 8 or more hours but didn’t complete it.  In B.E.E.P. by Big Fat Alien Games, you play a little robot named B.E.E.P. which stands for Built Exploration Extra-solar Planets.  Actually you play a bunch of them as you undoubtedly will die many, many times.  The game is essentially a physics-based puzzle-platformer (say that “five-times-fast”).  If this is your cup-of-tea then read on.

So the story is basically in the future the earth sends out un-manned exploratory vessels, to harvest some anti-matter (or something like that).  They fill these ships with BEEP’s these little robots that can carry stuff with a anti-grav gun, has thrusters to help him jump, and even has a refillable weapon to defend themselves.  You have to use all of these to collect antimatter in each planet.BEEPScreen1

The main problem with this game to me is some pieces of anti-matter are in such a difficult place that it takes me hours to get to it.  Some places you have to travel down one path, on one side, move the nugget out of the way, and then go all the way back (of which there are hazards along the way) to retrieve it.  Then is the amount of checkpoints.  Too few for me.  I might get to the anti-matter move it where it’s supposed to go, and then get almost all the way back and die on one difficult part.  Also the few jumping puzzles that this game has are also frustrating.  Since you use your thrusters to sort of slow your descent in your jumps you tend to over-jump or under-jump.  There was also some pieces of antimatter which would be in a really difficult to reach place, where you might have to build some advanced ladder of objects in the game in order to reach it, but since it was in water or on some odd angle you’d keep falling and it would take a couple of hours just to reach it even if you weren’t dying all the time.  This makes it a challenge for me to want to finish this game.BeepScreen2

Also frustrating was the reload system.  When you used up all your bullets you have to right click on the robot to reload, which is problematic when you’re trying to stop from getting shot.  There are other things which give me a pass on this game.  For instance one of the selling points was that you could explore the galaxy by moving your little ship around a map of planets (the over-world of the game).  Some of the levels are locked which suggested that you could go elsewhere, complete some other part of the game and come back once you’ve unlocked the levels.  Unfortunately, you basically have to unlock the levels in order.  (Each planet is divided into two sets of levels, so you have to basically find all nuggets in one set of levels before getting to the other half of the planet, before you can go to any other planets).  This is not really a problem other than how it’s presented.  You think you can play in a more non-linear fashion, but really it doesn’t work out that way.  Also a minor niggle is the fact you have to install Desura to play the game, and have to run it from Desura.  Desura, if you don’t know, is a downloader/game manager sort of like STEAM.BEEPScreen3

A small note about the graphics.  A review of the game I read claimed the graphics are like flash-game graphics.  To this I say for the most part that’s true, except it’s higher resolution than most vector-based flash games.  The graphics are adequate but they’re nothing special.  They don’t really pop, and the color scheme makes it look a little bit more bland.

The music, and sound are “ok”.  Which is probably the best thing I can say about this game.

If you like hair-pulling I would say play it, otherwise pass.

You can try the demo here.

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