Size DOES Matter [$1.99] is the rhythm game that really isn't. It has levels set to music that feel somewhat tied in to the beat, but is it something like Rock Band? Not at all. It's a game that perhaps could have taken more structure from that series, but it's an interesting approach that's really more of a music-centric challenging arcade game.

The goal is to move a block through gaps of different sizes with a block that can grow and shrink between three different sizes, with points earned and a multiplier increased for each gap passed through with the correct size. It turns out that size is quite important in this game, y'all.

I'll see myself out.

The game's levels are all set to a variety of EDM songs that are played through in their entirety. The soundtrack is largely EDM with appearances by chiptune artists Savant (Savant Ascent [$1.99]) and Chipzel (Super Hexagon [$2.99]), with about a dozen tracks in total to play. Fans of Chipzel's Super Hexagon soundtrack might actually get to appreciate being able to hear not just short bursts of her music, but a song in its entirety!

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Each song has multiple 'sequences' that are played by completing a song with at least one strike left, with later sequences getting much more difficult. The problem with this system is that the only way to play a later sequence is to go through all the previous sequences again. Imagine if in Rock Band it was necessary to complete a song on Easy, and then Medium, and then Hard, before getting to play on Expert. Odds are, earlier difficulties would become tedious through unwanted repetition, and it would be harder to master later difficulties because it takes more time to get to them. That's what Size DOES Matter winds up doing. While these allow the game to function as a high score affair, I don't think it's an actual improvement over a system that would just feature easy/medium/hard difficulties.

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Additionally, the game winds up demanding perfectionism, thanks to the three-strikes system, which is just odd in execution. A strike is earned by either being too big for a gate or being too small, but three strikes only means that the next sequence can't be played. A problem arises because there's no invincibility time: often one hit means two or even three. Traveling through a gate while small doesn't erase the multiplier, so it's a much lesser punishment, and it winds up being a clever strategy during the lame-duck time after getting three strikes, where a tricky section can be navigated in a much easier manner by staying as the single, pink square, in order to maintain the multiplier. I wonder: how would the game play if missing a gate by being too small wasn't punished with a strike? The game wouldn't be too much easier: moving up and down and high speeds is still a challenge, and there's still the lack of a reward by not increasing the multiplier. Also, why is there no MFi gamepad support? I found myself clamoring for it, as the vertical swipes on each side occasionally led to some mixed brain signals where I tried to move upward and wound up making my block bigger. Whoops.

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While I have issues with the rules and structure of the game, how it plays itself is rather fun: getting into a hundreds-long combo, frantically switching from one lane to another and from a smaller to bigger size feels great. It's an intense experience, and the music all feels like it fits the concept of the game, while conveying a variety of song styles. And I appreciate that this a rhythm game that is about a more 'natural' rhythm. I generally only like rhythm games if they're about approximating playing an instrument, because it feels like a better fit than just doing abstract note-hopping in something like the Tap Tap Revenge series. But because Size DOES Matter is set up to be like an arcade survival game, it's only a rhythm game secondly, but transitions feel natural enough – higher notes have higher gates, for example. The game gets the feel of being timed to the music, without necessarily being strictly rhythmic.

Thus, I think that Size DOES Matter winds up being a game I enjoyed playing more than I enjoyed how it is structured, but it ain't bad as an arcade survival game with music.

TouchArcade Rating

  • mkdms14

    I don't know why but when I see that title " Size Does Matter" something besides an iPhone game comes to mind. Not going to say anything else about it but you all know what I am talking about.

    • thepeopleschamp

      I don't think we know. Please elaborate...

    • Kane

      Nope, no idea what else comes to mind. Please to elaborate...

  • ngajoe

    I liked it!

Size DOES Matter Reviewed by Carter Dotson on . Rating: 3.5