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Unbeatable's early demo tracks are a rhythm riot

Have you ever gotten so into a song you literally can't stop playing it on repeat? One that hits a nerve so hard you catch yourself listening to it five, ten, twenty times in a row, slamming replay each time the final notes play?

For me, that's Unbeatable—and I sure as hell can't wait to find out what the full album sounds like. 

I fell in love with Unbeatable from the moment I caught its sun-bleached Kickstarter trailer (opens in new tab). The game's sporting some serious style, a faded tape of some old, obscure Studio Trigger production with a banging soundtrack that jumps from sample-heavy trip-hop to pop-punk anime 

At the time, developer D-Cell had promised a full White Label demo within a week. That demo would ultimately take a month to arrive, but an Arcade Mix filled the time in between, ditching the story moments for a pure score-chasing rhythm challenge.

Even that stripped down demo packed a hell of a punch, though. Unbeatable is pretty simple to get used to—one button hits the top row, one hits the bottom. But the game quickly mixes things up with frenetic patterns. Beats are effectively monsters, and some take a bit of mixing up to take down, batting between lanes or hammering as fast as you can. The camera, too, is an obstacle, flipping left and right as notes mix up their musical offensive. 

A silhouette speaks against a picture of a girl on a bus

(Image credit: D-Cell Games)

It can be a lot to deal with—and if you want to ease things up, Unbeatable already has plenty of accessibility options, from a "no-fail" mode to variable song and note speeds. But soon, all that noise and slick VHS clutter strips away. The best rhythm games let you tune fully into their groove, and Unbeatable hits that zone perfectly.

Last week, White Label finally opened up a glimpse at the other half of the game. See, Unbeatable's tracks are framed by a 3D city, your main character Beat soaking in some late-night melancholy before entering a shouting match with her eclectic bandmates Clef, Treble and Quaver. It's still glaringly early, but promises a deeper, moodier side to the game's banging rhythm tracks.

Unbeatable just wrapped up its Kickstarter campaign (opens in new tab), and it'll be some time before D-Cell is ready to unveil its full EP. But until then, you can tune into White Label for free via Steam (opens in new tab) and Itch (opens in new tab).

20 years ago, Nat played Jet Set Radio Future for the first time, and she's not stopped thinking about games since. Joining PC Gamer in 2020, she comes from three years of freelance reporting at Rock Paper Shotgun, Waypoint, VG247 and more. Embedded in the European indie scene and a part-time game developer herself, Nat is always looking for a new curiosity to scream about—whether it's the next best indie darling, or simply someone modding a Scotmid into Black Mesa. She also unofficially appears in Apex Legends under the pseudonym Horizon.