Shield the Beat was developed by MBrio and was released on the XBLIG marketplace on April 4, 2011. It originally retailed for 400 MSP. The price has since been dropped to 240 MSP. A copy of the game was provided for review purposes.
Some would argue that rhythm-based games are no longer fun, and for the most part they’d be right. The Guitar Hero series has gone stale and luckily fizzled out, Rock Band 3 — as great as it is — can only have so many good songs each week as DLC — and games like Parappa the Rapper have long since been thrown in the bargain bin at your local used game store.
But there’s something about Xbox Live Indie Games that bring a fresh take on tired genres. Shield the Beat does just that. It requires no plastic guitars, but instead prefers a set of thumbs that spend their time playing dual stick shooters. The premise is simple: the on-board computer is trying all sorts of crazy maneouvers to evade four enemy ships while it prepares for a hyperspace jump. You control the ships defenses. In addition to overall shields your fighter is equipped with large red and blue defensive spheres. Catch enemy fire in them to keep the main shields from failing. The barrage is all set in time to an electric soundtrack that makes it an absolute blast to play.