Aksys Games offers us many games in the BIT.TRIP series, I think five or six. I will look at all of them one at a time, but not in any real order, so I'll just start with one randomly chosen: CORE.
BIT. TRIP CORE is kind of hard to put under a genre. Is it meant like an old-school arcade game? Is it a music game? Is it a puzzle game? Hard to tell, because really, all three genres could apply. Fine then, an old-school arcade-like musical puzzle game.
You don't get much of an explanation on how the game works at first, so you have to try stuff. What I got is this: There's a + in the middle of the screen, and yellow squares start moving across the screen in a straight line. What you basically have to do is wait for the square to be aligned with the +, and then press the button on the directional pad corresponding to the side the square is on (up, down, left, right), and press A to destroy the square. This makes a little musical note. It starts easy enough, with only one square moving on the screen at a time... But after a while, after a square has started moving, another appears, and then another, and then another, and most of them are going in different directions... Phew! And you must still try to hit them all. Some have differing speeds, so you need to take that into consideration. Oh, and after a while the squares become more difficult to hit, their trajectory curves, and stuff like that.
This musical puzzle game is a bit (pun not intended) fun, but I was really not too good with it. I still did beat one or two levels. I ended on a third one, which had stopped being colorful and instead had only black and white graphics reminiscent of Pong. In other words, I liked it a bit, it was a fun trip, but I doubt I reached the core of the game.
This game sure feels like a love letter to those very old arcade games with simplistic graphics. Kind of like the good old days of Atari, which I'm too young to have seen. The only major problem with this game is that the backgrounds are very unnerving, they distract you from the constant attention your should keep to be able to destroy the squares correctly.
I guess if you have fast reflexes and talent when it comes to puzzle games, have a go at it. If you don't... Well, still have a try at the demo version and see if it's your thing. It might not be mine, but it could be yours.