Category Archives: Music / Rhythm

I feel like the last few games I've reviewed have skirted the line between being a game in the functional definition and being just an interactive experience. Cosmic DJ [$1.99] by GL33k and Devolver Digital is perhaps is more accurately described as a gamified music synthesizer than an actual game per se, it passes the sniff test just enough that it's worth talking about here. Actual musicians might find the basicness of composition rather lacking, and people who enjoy playing games to completion might find the lack of resistance toward achieving their goals dissatisfying. But non-musicians who want a clever way to compose music with only minimal musical knowledge, or want to enjoy the goofy-yet-earnest story here, will want to check this out...

Cosmophony [$2.99] is a rhythm-based tunnel shooter that is built to be challenging, with formations of obstacles to avoid throughout five levels, all set to an EDM soundtrack. The rhythm part is loose at best, but changes in the game do go along with changing sound cues. The problem is that the game is built around its challenge being through perfectionism. That, the only way to advance is by completing a very hard level in one life leaves a bad taste in my mouth, and limits what this game can do...

As if they weren't busy enough, Harmonix Music Systems recently signed a publishing deal with Tilting Point to bring multiple new games to mobile devices. Tilting Point, to jog your memory, is a mobile publishing and marketing team known for projecting its game trailers onto the walls of Gothic Revival mansions...

Size DOES Matter [$0.99] 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...

On the list of things I would never have guessed I'd be playing on my iPhone in 2014, a rhythm game from SNK based on the King of Fighters franchise has to rank pretty highly. I'm not going to question what led SNK to make their first new music game in over 13 years, but given how fondly I remember their last one, I'm glad to see them return to the genre, even if it's in quite a different form. I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that most people haven't played SNK's Cool Cool Toon for the SEGA Dreamcast, given it was a fairly late Japan-only release, but if you have, The Rhythm of Fighters [Free] borrows heavily from it, along with a little inspiration from Theatrhythm Final Fantasy [Free]...

Last month during PAX East, Rock Band creators Harmonix announced a new rhythm-based runner for mobile that utilized your device's library of music to drive the gameplay. After a brief soft-launch period, Record Run [Free] is now available worldwide. Alongside the full launch a pretty substantial update is also now available for Record Run, featuring new obstacles to dodge and several tweaks to the scoring and bonus mechanics...

Connoisseurs of specialized arcade cabinets have probably heard of DJMax Technika , the South Korean touch-screen based rhythm game. Being an arcade music game with touch controls, an iOS version would seem to be a natural fit and that’s exactly what we have with DJMax Technika Q[Free]. With an incredibly fine-tuned and enjoyable rhythm engine, Technika Q is unfortunately hampered by the bloated systems placed on top of its core gameplay...

'Rhythm Thief & The Paris Caper Review' - Phantom R Strikes Again

Rhythm Thief & The Emperor's Treasure was one of my favorite games of 2012. Released for the Nintendo 3DS, it was a rhythm game that transcended the genre in many ways, with a charming cast and a hypnotic, jazzy soundtrack. Here we are in 2014, and Sega has mysteriously released an iOS version of the same game, titled Rhythm Thief & the Paris Caper [$9.99]. It's not exactly the same, but rather an abridged take with some iOS-centric goodies...

This past October, we sat down with representatives from Sega to check out several of their upcoming winter releases. Of the four titles previewed, three have already arrived in the forms of the remastered Sonic The Hedgehog 2 [$2.99], Sonic & All-Stars Racing: Transformed [Free] and Demon Tribe [Free]. Today, the final game of that lot of upcoming titles has finally arrived as well. Rhythm Thief & The Paris Caper [$9.99] is an iOS port of the 2012 Nintendo 3DS title that has you playing through rhythm-based mini-games as you travel across historical Paris...

'Deemo' Review - A Beautiful Rhythmic Experience

It’s been nearly two years since we saw the release of Cytus [$0.99], an excellent music game that was not only built on a solid gameplay foundation but has been continually updated with new tracks since its release. Now, developer Rayark is back with their second music/rhythm title and it’s just as awesome as the first. Deemo’s [$0.99]gameplay may not be groundbreaking, but it’s still an amazing game with a highly refined experience worth checking out...

'Bit.Trip Run!' Review - A Mostly-Intact Port Of An Excellent Runner

We often see the case of a game from a genre well-realized on consoles, dedicated handhelds, or PCs releasing on mobile. Sometimes, we even see these games make their way over to the platforms where their genres were born or popularized. For example, Chaos Rings [$7.99] is a JRPG, a genre popularized by consoles, that was released on mobiles first, and then eventually making its way to the Playstation Vita. It's considerably more rare, due to the relative youth of the mobile platform, to see a game from a genre popularized on mobiles release on consoles. Such was the case with Bit.Trip Runner, an auto-running game released for Wii, with later releases on 3DS and Steam. With the release of the sequel, developer Gaijin Games decided to really go big, putting the game out on pretty much every platform under the sun including, in a slightly modified form, iOS...

Square Enix brought their Final Fantasy-themed 3DS rhythm title over to the iOS platform late last year, with quite a few changes–some for the better, some for the worse, as we pointed out in our review. Theatrhythm Final Fantasy [Free] on iOS looked much better thanks to the higher resolution screens of iPhone and iPads, and sounded a whole lot better too, probably due to being able to have a higher file size and including higher bit-rate music. On the down side, a couple of the modes from the 3DS version got the axe, and the biggest change of all was a switch to a free-to-play model which allowed you to download and play a couple of tracks free of charge but then sold the entire library of additional songs and characters in a piecemeal fashion through IAP...

It feels like when people are sitting down to plan out a new game these days, a lot of them go for one of two themes: ninjas or zombies. It would be nice to see a new craze take hold, like, I don't know, conquistadors. Or, how about sherpas? Well, it's not going to happen today, so we're just going to have to deal with another ninja game. This time, it's Audio Ninja [$0.99], a side-scrolling rhythm-based runner that's long on charm but perhaps a bit short on gameplay...

Microsoft's Kinect accessory brought about all sorts of gimmicky motion games, with the only ones that were really worth playing being Let's Dance and Dance Central. They worked well because they abstracted the weird real-time movement used in other games to just having you vaguely flailing your appendages in time with the dancing model on screen. It was a major innovation compared to what most (all?) other Kinect games were doing, and playing it was actually a lot of fun regardless of how bad you were...

'Dropchord' Review - Double Fine Goes Disco

If you have no tolerance for Electronic Dance Music (EDM), Double Fine’s Dropchord [$2.99] won’t be your thing. No chance. It may as well be called EDM: The Game, packed with visceral, beat-dropping music and intense, glowing visuals. It’s video-game-as-album, with tracks and verses instead of stages. I happen to love both EDM and video games. And I love Dropchord...

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