Beat Slayer Review — Rhythm-Action Meets Rogue-Lite Brutality

I knew it, Robots cannot be trusted.

Beat Slayer Review
  • Story And Setting
  • Gameplay
  • Visuals And Performance


Whether busting robot heads or jamming to the tune, Beat Slayer promises a good time, even if a lack of versatility makes it a little stale.


  • Engaging Gameplay
  • Captivating Art style
  • Easy-To-Learn Rhythm


  • Overly Basic Level Design
  • Lack Of Versatility
  • Unpleasant Dialogues

You’ve played rhythm games, and you’ve played action games, but what about rhythm-action stuff? I’ll be honest, this particular hybrid genre was something new for me. I came across this blend back when I played Crypt of the NecroDancer, and it’s some good stuff. I’ve since explored this genre in detail and found that it was indeed my cup of tea.

Key Takeaways
  • Developer: ByteRocker’s Games
  • Publisher: ByteRocker’s Games, Paras Games
  • Release Date: 4 April, 2024
  • Platforms: Microsoft Windows
  • Game Length: 5+ Hours
  • Time Played: 10+ Hours
  • Editors Note: Our reviewer spent plenty of time in the rhythmic world of Beat Slayer, hacking and slaying enemies while jamming to its beats.

Then, along came the Hi-Fi Rush, and things became a lot more enjoyable. Combining rhythmic inputs with action-packed gameplay worked better than expected. But, what if you add rouge-lite on top of these two concepts? Does that sound fascinating? Then I’ve got just the thing for you. It’s called Beat Slayer, and I’m going to dissect this adventure in detail in my review.

Story And Setting

So, the first question is, what’s the game about? Well, in a nutshell, it’s a good old-fashioned revenge story involving a hostage rescue. Enter Mia, a rather upbeat girl on a quest to reclaim her kidnapped brother Toni from the clutches of an eccentric dictator.

The setting is a dystopian Berlin, set in the 90s aesthetic, and the dictator in question is Dietrich, who controls the world with a strange tune and his army of killer robots. Against these tyrannical rules stands a resistance, of which Mia is a part.

It’s a shame that Mia repeats these same few lines over, and over, and over again until your ears bleed from listening to “Here Comes M.W.A: Mia With Attitude.”

Mia's story (image by eXputer)
Mia’s story (image by eXputer)

As you must’ve guessed, the plot is very straightforward, and in my opinion, gets the job done. Besides, I just needed an excuse to thrash the enemies, and now I have one. Something Mia reminds me of, constantly. This is one of my major complaints with the story; the dialogue and the writing.

Beat Slayer is filled with pop culture references, quippy dialogues that borderline on cringe, and robot puns that are only funny the first time you hear them. It’s a shame that Mia repeats these same few lines over, and over, and over again until your ears bleed from listening to “Here Comes M.W.A: Mia With Attitude.”

The consistently repeating dialogues (image by eXputer)
The consistently repeating dialogues (image by eXputer)

Interactions with NPCs are no different. Mia’s dialogues are more often than not cringe-inducing, and something that ruins the gloomy environment the story aims to establish. I fail to see how all this upbeat behavior and less-than-creative writing fit in with the plot’s overtones.


As it’s a rhythm action game, you need to time your actions to the beat running in the background. Your overall actions are very basic. You can attack, use an ultimate, dash to dodge attacks, and unlock a kick ability to push back enemies. These 4 actions form your arsenal.

Ultimate of the Rhythm Slicer weapon (image by Us)
Ultimate of the Rhythm Slicer weapon (image by Us)

You’ll be using these 4 actions in perfectly timed intervals to maintain a counter, which increases as you keep performing these moves in sync with the background beat. Reach a certain counter and you enter an enhanced state called Tanzrausch (now that’s a mouthful). This state buffs up your combat prowess, as long as you can maintain the beat.

Every time you die, you’re brought back to your base, which is home to some interesting faces that provide many services. You have a training dummy friend, a potion shop to get starter boosts, an upgrade center to level up, a quest counter to earn exp for upgrades, and some consolation, encouragement, and helpful advice after losing.

Upgrade Shop (Screenshot Grab: eXputer)
Upgrade Shop (Screenshot Grab: eXputer)

Syncing To The Beat Is Both Rewarding And Fun

That covers the basics, so let’s move to the next step. The combat is essentially attacking on the first beat, dashing on the second, and then attacking again on the third to create an attack, re-position, and attack combo loop. You can also use two beats for attacks, or two beats to dash twice as per the situation.

If you’ve played games like Hades or Curse of the Dead Gods, you’ll find the progression system very similar.

Beat Slayer throws different enemy types on you, and I certainly enjoyed the variety it put into the enemy design and moves. The best thing about the combat as per me is that it’s not just an attack masher, you need to sacrifice some attack to dodge away while maintaining the sync, and that’s brilliant.

Enemy variety (image credit: eXputer)
Enemy variety (image credit: eXputer)

If you’ve played games like Hades or Curse of the Dead Gods, you’ll find the progression system very similar. Every time you clear a room, you’re given an option to choose a path, each rewarding a different type of buff. However, unlike the former, Beat Slayer creates split pathways rather than rooms; you know what you’ll be getting for the next 3-4 rooms before you make a choice.

Progression route (image by eXputer)
Progression route (image by eXputer)

The combat is impactful, and the beat has an addictive tone, which makes the gameplay even more fun. As you’re listening to the music, you subconsciously start jamming to it and adjusting your actions. The Tanzrausch state just adds to the instinct of “I have to keep this up.”

There is one complaint I’d like to highlight here though. The concept of level design is almost non-existent in this game. Every room is just an open area. Certain traps are lying around, but they’re still pretty basic. This was a big missed opportunity for Beat Slayer.

The Lack of Innovation And Versatility Is Genuinely Felt

As I’ve mentioned, the basic gameplay loop and the combat are all solid and enjoyable, but trust me when I say that it could’ve been a lot better had the game done more to keep things versatile and unique. The level design point I raised above is a good example.

Overly simple level design (image credit eXputer)
Overly simple level design (image credit eXputer)

Since it’s a rogue-lite, repetition was inevitable, but it’s a little too much here. Every run is exactly the same, wide empty rooms with spawning foes. The only real challenge is the varied enemy types (the same old “more enemies = difficulty”) and nothing else.

The concept of level design is almost non-existent in this game.

Syncing to the beat is also pretty easy once you get the pattern down because the music stays unchanged for an Act, and there are only 3. The tune it uses is pleasing to the ears, but the fact remains, you get used to it. Similarly, Beat Slayer has a noticeable lack of weapons. You only have three weapons, all with little changes to the core mechanics. 

Weapons (image by eXputer)
Weapons (image by eXputer)

All these points create a rhythm-action game which although genuinely enjoyable, becomes stale quickly because it lacks anything innovative, especially being a rogue-lite where the entire purpose is playing repeatedly.

Visuals And Performance

Next up, we have the visuals, and I must say I was genuinely attracted to the game’s unique art style and environmental design. Visuals in Beat Slayer uphold the dystopian setting but in the 90’s aesthetic very faithfully, and the character models and animations all work to support this. 

Visuals (image by eXputer)
Visuals (image by eXputer)

The game’s art style is always pleasing to look at. This is all the more reason why I think it should’ve done more with the environments in the levels. All this brilliant art could’ve been used to add more life to the backgrounds, rather than them just being there as a supporting role.

However, praise where due, the game’s accessibility options create visual cues that can even augment the gameplay. You can turn on visual indicators for enemy attacks and the music rhythm to help fine-tune your gameplay before getting used to the mechanics.

Rhythm timing indicator (Screenshot Grab eXputer)
Rhythm timing indicator (Screenshot Grab eXputer)

Lastly, we have the performance, and contrary to what you might be thinking right now, no I’m not going to criticize. The game is not particularly taxing and as such works without issues. I’ve tested it on a rather humble PC; it still plays out perfectly consistently


Verdict (image by Us)
Verdict (image by Us)

All in all, Beat Slayer is a perfectly cozy rhythm action game you can get into easily and enjoy without the need to learn complex mechanics. Whether it’s busting robot heads or jamming to the music, Beat Slayer promises a good time, even if its lack of versatility and innovation makes it a little stale.

That was all about my review of Beat Slayer. If you enjoyed going on this journey with me as your guide, consider checking out some more of our reviews.

This is box title
Get This Game
If you like rhythm-action games and don’t mind the touch of rogue-lite difficulty.
Dont Get This Game
In case you find the rogue-lite concept repetitive and don’t care for rhythm games.
Do I Need To Get This Game
Yes, it’s a simple yet enjoyable blend of Hades and Hi-fi Rush.
Alternative Games
  • Hades
  • Curse of the Dead Gods
  • Hi-Fi Rush
  • Crypt of the NecroDancer
  • Cadence of Hyrule
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Hanzala is a dedicated writer who expresses his views as opinion pieces at eXputer. He's always been fascinated by gaming and has been an avid consumer of many different genres for over a decade. His passion for games has him eager to encounter the latest RPGs and actively look for new Soulslike to challenge. He puts forth his experience and knowledge of gaming into captivating opinion pieces.

Experience: 8+ months || Education: Bachelors in Chemistry.

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