Sonar Beat – Review
Follow Genre: Rhythm Game
Developer: Life Zero
Publisher: Hidden Trap
Platform: PC, PS4, Switch
Tested on: Switch

Sonar Beat – Review

Site Score
Good: Tries to give a unique spin on the Rhythm gameplay
Bad: Frustrating mechanincs, Bland presentation, Unmemorable songs
User Score
(1 votes)
Click to vote
VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 1.0/10 (1 vote cast)

Rhythm games have always been a big part of the gaming landscape. While mainstream series like Guitar Hero have lost a lot of their charm, most franchises still have a ton of dedicated fans, especially if they use music from your favorite franchise, like Final Fantasy’s Thearitrhythm: Final Bar Line. That is why new games in this genre have to find a way to stand out, which is what Sonar Beat tries to do with a pretty unique layout.


Rhythm games are one of those genres that have a big focus on gameplay and do not really need a story to go along with it. While there is no form of a narrative in Sonar Beat, the game does feature a bit of context around what is happening on screen. The unique twist is that the area where the notes move around is not a straight line, but a circle, resembling a submarine’s sonar scanner. All the dots that appear represent enemies that you have to take down by following the beat and hitting them at the right moment.

While the depiction of the sonar does match the overall theme and title of the game, having a small text about the enemies you face, or a bit more context, would have been appreciated. A story isn’t essential in this type of game, but a ton of rhythm games have shown that a narrative can enhance the experience quite a bit.


The graphical design of Sonar Beat is very simplistic, only featuring the titular sonar scanner. All of the songs that are featured in the game are displayed in the exact same fashion, only changing the color of the background and some small effects. While we don’t have a lot of expectations from such a small game, it does deliver a bland and uninspired presentation. Some type of customization or a bit of variation would have been a nice addition.


A rhythm game is only as good as its soundtrack, and Sonar Beat doesn’t deliver a memorable one. The game features a dozen electro beats that are by no means bad, but none of them made us come back to play them over and over again. Many musical games have showered players with dozens of songs, often featuring ones that people are already familiar with, making a small and forgettable library like this one a hard sell.


Sonar Beat is a rhythm game that features an original soundtrack and tries to deliver a unique gameplay mechanic to stand out from the crowd. You’ll be taking out enemies that are moving around a sonar scanner, hitting them to the beat of the music.

Describing the gameplay of Sonar Beat is pretty easy since it features the most basic mechanics at its core. The sonar features three rings, along which dots will appear that you have to hit when the scanner moves over them. If you aren’t able to hit the button at the right time, the dots will move a ring closer to the center, making their way to the middle and costing you a life if they aren’t dispatched in time. This gives the game a unique mechanic where you have to prioritize closer notes to make sure that they can’t attack your center.

While this does sound like a fresh take on the rhythm game formula, there are some flaws with this system. The notes that are closer to the center of the radar aren’t aligned with the music of the level anymore and feel like mindless button-pressing. This is especially a problem once you miss a ton of notes and the screen gets cluttered with three rows of dots that can only be dispatched by mashing the button without any rhythm. There is an option to dispose of two notes at the same time when they’re aligned, but the two buttons you have to use are placed next to each other on the controller, offering no comfortable way to press them both. There is also no option to change the button mapping.

All of this together offers a bland and often frustrating experience. Especially considering the game is pretty hard and doesn’t offer a way to turn down the difficulty. From the first song, you’ll be bombarded with a boatload of notes, which can overwhelm any new player when you miss a few of them and have to manage three overpacked rows at a time. This makes the fact that you need to unlock new tracks by beating the previous one a weird choice, since it’s easy to get stuck and have no other option than to try the same song over and over again.


Sonar Beat is a small Rhythm game that leaves a lot to be desired. The game offers a unique take on the basic formula, but stumbles with the execution, delivering a frustrating experience. The songs also aren’t that noteworthy, fitting the bland presentation. The only selling point is the game’s low price, but there are dozens of better options out there that would set you back just as much.

VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 1.0/10 (1 vote cast)
VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
Sonar Beat - Review, 1.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

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