Beat Stickman Beyond tries to be a clever variant on a traditionally very passive genre -whether or not you’ll appreciate its ideas is probably going to be very dependent on YOU. Personally, I struggled to enjoy it.
To get a couple things out of the way very quickly: this is probably the best looking idle/clicker game you’ve ever seen, though in general that’s a pretty low bar to cross. It’s also got a decent soundtrack. Even if it’s a bit generic and repetitive, it’s way better than any chiptunes crap you’ll hear out of most games in the genre. It also pushes you toward using a controller, which begins to make sense when you realize this game’s also coming out for the Xbox, though I question why anyone would want to play a clicker/idle game on a home console.
A direct sequel to the dev’s first game (Beat Stickman: Infinity Clones), this is a strange hybrid of idle game and action game, and it demands a lot of your attention. So much so that the game insists on being played full-screen. While that obviously makes sense for a console iteration, it defeats the purpose of why most people who enjoy the genre on PC – the fact you can multitask. Part of the attraction of the idle genre is that you can leave it up while you work or browse the internet, then come back and check progress. Sure, you might actively play a little- a few minutes here or there, but the genre itself is normally very passive.
The gameplay has you shooting the eponymous “stickman” to gain coins and energy to level up and purchase weapons to continue shooting stickman (stickmen?) of various incarnations. Along the way, you’ll progress a narrative that mainly consists of the dev team sending you emails that are supposed to be funny, I guess, but fell horrifically flat for me. Things progress at a tedious pace as well, which made me struggle to stay interested for anything more than a few minutes at a time. I’m well aware that with a lot of idle games, people will say things like “You have to play for a few hours before the game really gets good.” The problem is that if you can’t make me WANT to suffer through the early stages, why would I want to stay for the later ones? And that’s kind of where I sit with this game. I just really don’t like the loop. It doesn’t feel particularly rewarding, and while there’s a vague curiosity about what lies ahead, it’s not enough to make the opening hour+ of the game feel fun.
Some of you might be wondering why I’m still giving the game a thumbs up and a recommendation despite literally telling you why I didn’t enjoy this one, and it’s like this: This is a game made by one person. The staff at Steamgamer.net and our associated curator groups aren’t looking to bash indie games for not being AAA experiences.There’s a lot here that’s very subjective, and what I don’t like about the game, you might very well enjoy. The dev is clearly putting a lot of time and effort into making what they feel is an enjoyable game. He took a risk, mingling some more active/action elements into an idle game, and for me, it didn’t work. But he shouldn’t be punished for taking that risk-innovation is what drives the industry forward overall. He made a competent game, and specifically the game HE wanted to make. It isn’t shovelware garbage, and it isn’t a half-assed cash grab. I personally wish the dev well, and look forward to seeing what they might create in the future.
CLICK HERE TO BUY BEAT STICKMAN: BEYOND ON STEAM.
The Chuck is a lifelong gamer who was born in Ohio, but now lives in much closer proximity to Mickey Mouse.
The Chuck has found his life to be a series of improbable and almost unbelievable events, starting when he was twenty and caught the bubonic plague from a prairie dog. He was as surprised as anyone when he found out that's something that can happen.
When he isn't gaming, The Chuck can be found enjoying baseball, (American) football, pro wrestling, and horror movies. He is most commonly seen in the company of one or more cats.
Reclusive by nature, The Chuck is (like most semi-feral creatures) reward-driven. Approach with caution and some form of treat.