Sawbuck Gamer

Heart The Beat

Hard Pulse

Heart The Beat throbs—the entire game, the whole time.

By Joe Keiser • March 5, 2013

Sawbuck Gamer is our daily review of a free or cheap game ($10 or less).

Made by a one-person team in 48 hours, Heart The Beat is a simple affair. For the length of a single song, you navigate a hard-angled heart through a bright pink maze. Collecting yellow squares nets points and increases your score multiplier, which makes later squares worth a lot more. Hitting the walls resets that multiplier—and since score is all that matters here, there is a powerful incentive to stay in control. But this isn’t easy when the game world throbs and spins—in time with the music—in ways that sometimes make the walls nearly impossible to avoid.

There are not too many ways for this to go. If you read the above and think Heart the Beat sounds like zigzagging home with a hangover, then it’s going to feel exactly like that when you play it. But maybe the description sounds like something more blissful, like gliding through a rave after sitting all night on the subwoofer. In that case, there are a few minutes here for you. I swung back and forth between these sensations, the highs and lows set to the rhythm of how well I was playing. That means there’s nausea here, definitely, but maybe also joy.

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6 Responses to “Hard Pulse”

  1. Chalkdust says:

    73,000 on my first go.  It’s a neat idea; makes me think of some leaked tech demo floating around the Q? Entertainment offices.

  2. Unrelated to the article, but to Sawbucker’s hearts: the Android Humble Bundle 5 is out today, and considering Dungeon Defenders (with all DLC) is in it with Steam keys for all games included, it’s a steal of a deal.

    • Fyodor Douchetoevsky says:


      They have Super Hexagon, which is the only game on there that I don’t already have and actually really want, but it’s in the beat the average part, so it costs more to get it from there than on Steam. Also I don’t have an android phone.

      • Girard says:

        Haha, that was my exact reaction. The only game I want on there costs twice as much as it would alone, so I’ll give this bundle a pass, I guess.

    • Chalkdust says:

       Ah heck!  You know how they get me?  The soundtracks, that’s how.  Lookit ’em down there, all soundtracking it up without me.

  3. mattymaxxx says:

    What a great game! It helped me not to think of the buttons as ‘left’ and ‘right’, instead I’m a nerd who grew up sailing, so they became ‘port’ and ‘starboard’. Helped me navigate!