Whilst the iPhone is lauded for its tactile innovations in gaming, the device itself has the potential for a much more sensory experience. Few games exhibit this more than the music and rythm category of games, where we've had such gems as the creative Thumpies and the instrumentally excellent Beat-It. Para9 have introduced their own take on the genre with their recently released, muBlip [AppStore].
muBlip is a stylish looking title that marries para9's own original score with shape and rhythm-based patterns in a Simon Says formula. Over the course of each level you are shown several bars of music depicted by shapes that are highlighted on-screen. You are then tasked with repeating the order of shapes on your own, testing both your memory and timing accuracy. There are 10 levels all up, divided into an introduction stage and three additional stages of increasing difficulty.
The physical interaction needed in muBlip goes beyond the simple taps required in many music rhythm games. Where an instrument holds a note in the track, muBlip may have you similarly hold down on a shape, or sliding your finger across the screen to simulate the sustain. The more advanced levels will see you attempting to replicate drum beats or staccato notes, where a set of shapes need to be tapped simultaneously and in rapid succession. If it sounds difficult, that's because it certainly is-- often the slightest touch out of time will see you failing a whole bar of notes.
To its credit, though muBlip feels unforgiving it never feels unfair. Practice will bear fruit as patterns are committed to memory-- the joy at pulling off a feat of finger finesse making it all worthwhile. This focus on memory is further emphasised by a hardcore mode which is unlocked after scoring over 80% of notes on a particular level. Hardcore mode removes the demonstration at the beginning of each bar, forcing you to rely solely on your memory to identify the routine.
muBlip is certainly a game that will put to the test your sensory co-ordination and digit dexterity-- a candid warning to those without either to give muBlip a wide berth. Though the initial 10 levels may seem a slim offering (and can admittedly be breezed through quite quickly), each level features an original, energetic track with a range of instruments that helps shape each level into an individual challenge. For those that accept muBlip as the entertaining sensory showpiece that it is, muBlip will provide an enjoyable, challenging and singular experience.
A video of the gameplay has been provided by the developers above. Furthermore, to allay doubts as to the breadth of content available, para9 have promised that additional levels are on their way.
App Store Link: muBlip, $1.99.