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Rock Band creator launches music-driven pet sim BeatNiks

Rock Band and Guitar Hero creator Harmonix taps the mobile market for its latest release, leveraging its experience in the rhythm genre for a new music-driven virtual pet simulation titled BeatNiks for iOS and Android devices.

The free-to-play BeatNiks grants players in-game bonuses and outfits based on tracks in their mobile device’s music library, putting a uniquely personalized spin on the classic Tamagotchi formula.

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BeatNiks begins with players designing and customizing their in-game pet from a variety of available presets and body types. From there, players interact with their pet on a daily basis, alternating between affection, play, and cleanup as situations demand.

Throughout the course of the game, a player’s BeatNik will evolve and grow new body parts based on interaction and unlockable items that can be earned either through gameplay or via in-app purchases. Clothing and accessories determine a BeatNik’s personality, and its home can also be customized with appropriate rockstar furnishings.

BeatNiks also boasts a collection of minigames, ranging from a Doodle Jump-like platformer to rhythm games that recall Harmonix’s efforts on consoles. Minigames award in-game currency and items, giving players an incentive to return on a daily basis to collect new rewards.

Developer Harmonix has branched out into new creative directions after the rhythm genre reached its peak in popularity several years back. The studio released its first shoot-’em-up, A City Sleeps, in 2014, merging arcade-styled gameplay with musical elements that determine the player’s rate of fire, among other key mechanics.

Recently, Harmonix released the Wii Sports-like Beat Sports for the fourth-generation Apple TV microconsole. The package features a series of sports-themed minigames that incorporate unique rhythm-driven mechanics, including unique takes on tennis, volleyball, and golf.

BeatNiks is available as a free download via the iTunes App Store and Google Play.