Beam Team is an upcoming game for arcade machines. Remember arcade machines? Those things with the screens and the joysticks on them. You’d walk past them when you went to the movies after school. Superhero movies show them when they want to do a flashback to the 90s. They’re a thing of the past, right?
Well, you’re wrong, imaginary naysayer! No Moss Studios are here with what was easily the most impressive gaming rig of PAX Australia 2019.
While Beam Team already came out on PC and Mac last year, its deliciously uncomplicated design makes it perfect for arcade machines. You and a friend play two tiny cats in two tiny spaceships, orbiting a planet they’re trying to destroy. Each player rotates around the planet, dodging the planet’s defences while whittling its health bar down.
The arcade machine uses wheels to control the spaceships. They allow you to spin them 360 degrees, to handily dodge incoming missiles or meteors. The other two buttons are Beam (both to throw out a distress signal to your ally when you’re knocked down, and to revive your ally when they’re down) and Blast (a massive laser attack that can be used after the bar in the corner of the screen fills up). With such simple controls, you would think Beam Team to be a walk in the park, wouldn’t you?
Well, you’re wrong again, imaginary naysayer! Beam Team is not an easy game. I played the demo twice at PAX, and both times found myself unable to get past the second planet. It was a giant clock that broke apart to reveal an old man inside.
One of the best things about indie games is that they can explore new ways to play games. No Moss Studios seems to be exploring new hardware options as well as software. Beam Team for arcade is a throwback to an older era of gaming, that also opens up possibilities more games could follow.