It was way back in March that Lucky Kat Studios officially announced Beat Street, a side-scrolling beat ’em up like those classics that were so popular in the arcades of the ’80s and ’90s but built for the ground up to be played in portrait mode and controlled with just one hand on your smartphone. An ambitious undertaking if I ever saw one. However, a few weeks prior to that announcement I was able to check out a very early version of Beat Street during GDC and by golly those folks at Lucky Kat had totally nailed it. The game captured the essence of those classic brawlers while still being fully controllable with just one hand. Progress has continued heavily in the months since, including a beta testing period in July followed by an interesting developer video showcasing how Lucky Kat formulated their ingenious control system. Now, after many months of anxiously waiting, Beat Street is finally finished and heading to the App Store on November 16th. Check out the brand new official trailer.
One of the coolest things about Beat Street is that although it’s been designed to be controlled with just your thumb, it doesn’t feel dumbed down in any way. I mean, let’s be honest, it’s not like those belt-scrolling beat ’em ups were ever much more than button mashers anyway, but it’s still impressive the amount of complexity the team was able to retain with their simplified control system. A touch anywhere invisible analog stick controls your movement, with taps unleashing your fists and feet. Tapping in succession builds up combos. You can also run into an enemy to grab onto them, and tap to beat them up some more or just swipe to give them a toss across the screen. Enemies can even be tossed into each other, making grabs and throws a nice strategic option. Beyond these basics you’ll also unlock new ability scrolls through playing which expand your repertoire of moves to things like a jump kick attack and a dodge roll. Throw on top of all that a big roster of unlockable fighters that can each be leveled up and we’ll have quite a meaty experience on our hands when Beat Street punches its way into the App Store for free on November 16th.