Review: Backbeat – A Unique, Virtuoso Puzzler Steeped In Funk And ’90s Cool

Sax, lies, and videotape.

When you think “music game”, you probably think “rhythm action”. Well, Stockholm-based indie team Ichigoichie is here to confound your expectations with Backbeat, a funkily fiendish puzzle game about the intricacies of playing in a band.

Ichigoichie’s first game was 2019’s Hexagroove, where they were already shaking music gaming up by mixing dance music creation, DJing, and Gitaroo Man-style track-following rhythm action. The studio’s heritage even goes back, via co-founder David Ventura, to the Nintendo DS classic Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan! (progenitor of Elite Beat Agents in the West). And that game’s goofiness of story and characterful overworld map extend their tendrils through the decades all the way into 2023’s Backbeat, too.

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