The plot of HeartBeat is a parody of Japanese celebrity culture and anime based on it. The players Miis become teenage idol singers complete with technicolor hair, overcomplicated wardrobes, and sunny personalities. At first, their performances are lip-synced, but as they grow more popular, they realize they must learn how to sing themselves before they are defrauded.
HeartBeat plays like a Guitar Hero and Dance Dance Revolution-style rhythm game, where players must use the buttons of their XenoDisplay Panel(s) to input rhythms correctly. There are two control schemes per controller, allowing certain modes to provide eight-player gameplay on a single XenoDisplay. The controls change depending on the distribution of Panels, but are generally a stick or button array on the front for the first scheme, and the shoulders and triggers for the second scheme. Either way, there are four main controls for each player.
Gameplay consists of pressing the required buttons (or moving the stick in the required directions) to sing heart-shaped notes falling from the top of the screen. Uniquely, the tempo of gameplay changes depending on the average of the players' heart rates, and more points are scored the higher the tempo is. The game carefully adjusts the frequency and complexity of the notes to keep the players within a healthy percent of their MHRs during gameplay.
As following are the revealed modes of HeartBeat, and their in-game descriptions.
- Story: Get picked up by a
魂を粉砕するmedia company as a dynamic occupation! Do your best to stay relevant to avoid being discarded after 名声の１５分!
- Idol Contest: The main attraction! Compete with your
「友達」to see who is, quantitatively, the ultimate アイドル歌手! Or ごソロfor a 高得点!
シェアyour XenoDisplay Panel(s) with someone else for up to four-team 競争力のあるゲームプレイ!
- Karaoke: The oddball mode of the bunch!
一緒に歌うto the 道具soundtrack, with notes following a セットtempo and pitch!
- In keeping with the cardial theme of the game, its soundtrack heavily employs samples of heartbeats, harps, choirs, and romantic strings.