Shovel Knight fans, don't sleep on this musical masterpiece

By Luke Albigés,

If you enjoy the killer soundtracks of indie gems Shovel Knight and Undertale, you're going to want to check out Just Shapes & Beats — a challenging musical avoid-'em-up with ace stages based on tunes from both games.

Just Shapes & Beats originally launched on Steam and Switch back in 2018, but it finally snuck onto Xbox recently, bringing with it a banquet of Shovel Knight tunes — each with their own amazing unique stage to master — as well as an Undertale-themed boss battle set to a remix of one of Toby Fox's best tunes. You can see a few of these in action in the videos below... check 'em out!
Despite being an exceptional game, Just Shapes & Beats has barely been picked up by anyone on TrueAchievements, with a player count that only just scrapes past the 150 mark. That's largely why I wanted to throw together this quick PSA — knowing about these awesome musical collaborations from some of my favourite indie titles would have been enough to make me throw my wallet at a screen immediately, and I doubt I'm alone. Better yet, the creativity of the stage design doesn't end with the crossover levels, and it's rare to see a game that manages to do so much with so little. If you love the chiptune work of Jake Kaufman and Toby Fox, you'll likely also discover some similar new artists through the awesome soundtrack, which extends beyond just chiptune stuff and well into EDM that goes a fair bit harder.

Just Shapes & Beats

Just Shapes & Beats

Just Shapes & Beats is a chaotic co-op musical bullet-hell based on three simple things: avoid Shapes, move to the kick-ass Beats, and die, repeatedly. It's a new spin on the SHMUP genre, adding a layer of cooperation that's at the core of the game: because everything is better with friends. Play alone or with up to four players, local or online, through the game's Story Mode or Challenge Runs.

I will say now, though, that the Just Shapes & Beats achievements don't mess about. You'll have to master a decent number of the stages on your way to the completion, as well as playing a bunch to grind out Beat Points. Good thing it's an excellent game, then! It hasn't featured in a sale yet as it's still pretty fresh on Xbox, but the moment it does, you'll be hearing more about it in a future TA team sale picks article — it's one of my favourite games of the year so far, and more people definitely need to play it.

Interested in giving this a go? Let us know!
Luke Albigés
Written by Luke Albigés
Luke runs the TA news team, contributing where he can primarily with reviews and other long-form features — crafts he has honed across two decades of print and online gaming media experience, having worked with the likes of gamesTM, Eurogamer, Play, Retro Gamer, Edge, and many more. He loves all things Monster Hunter, enjoys a good D&D session, and has played way too much Destiny.