Category Archives: Music / Rhythm

The very positive reception of Guitar Hero Live [Free] has been something of a surprise to all those who witnessed the fall of its predecessors and those who've had to clean cobwebs off their plastic musical instruments for the last few years. We enjoyed it a lot in our review, and overall the internet seems to have responded with an unexpected smile to the music game. Activision isn't resting on its laurels, though, and has announced today that it's adding the first of many free content drops on its Guitar Hero TV (GHTV). New music includes Fall Out Boy, Blink-182, Black Veil Brides, George Ezra and many more tracks, expanding the game's library and adding more songs for us to fail playing. According to Activision, players should expect 70 new tracks on GHTV by the end of the year, including songs from Iggy Pop, Weezer, Judas Priest, Alice in Chains, and more...

'Guitar Hero Live' Review - Better Than On Consoles?

There are two kinds of musicians in the world: those who like Guitar Hero, and those who don't. Okay, there are probably musicians who are indifferent to the whole phenomenon, but whatever. The point is, as someone who plays a variety of instruments in real life, I have my fair share of musician friends who think rocking out with plastic guitars is stupid. "Why not play real guitar?" they cry, while stroking their hipster beards and drinking PBR. Well, because real guitar isn't a game, and sometimes I just want to play a game. I unashamedly love Guitar Hero, and I was absolutely stoked when I heard there was a new one coming out, and iOS would be getting an un-neutered version. Well, after playing it for several days, I can say that not only is Guitar Hero Live [Free] indeed (nearly) identical to the console versions, but in some ways it actually might be better than the PS4 and Xbox versions. Potentially...




'Magic Flute by Mozart' Review - One Time At Bandcamp

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September 29th, 2015 12:00 PM EST by Nathan Reinauer in $1.99, 4 stars, Games, Music / Rhythm, Puzzle, Reviews, Universal
$3.99 Buy Now

I first heard about Mozart's opera The Magic Flute when I was a music major in college. I remember thinking the title was sort of ridiculous, and the plot seemed equally silly. Something about a guy and his bird buddy meeting some witches or something and then rescuing a princess somewhere. And, of course, there's a magical flute. It was hard to take seriously since opera was never my thing, but reading about it on wikipedia all these years later it actually sounds kind of interesting. The main plot is supposed to be kind of light and silly, but underneath there's a subtext about religion, reason, and enlightment. Oh! And there's an iPhone game based on it now. Did I mention that part?..

'Skylanders SuperChargers', 'Guitar Hero Live', and 'Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions Evolved' All Coming to the Apple TV

Activision joined the announcement party for upcoming Apple TV games today, and it's starting to look like all the publishers want to get in on the Apple TV action. Activision also gave us our first insight into how the iPad Pro might influence game design choices in the future. The first game Activision announced is Skylanders SuperChargers, the next iteration of the company's huge moneymaker that is the Skylanders franchise. The game's starter pack, which we have already talked about, will be identical for all iOS devices...

'Gathering Sky' - They’re Flocking This Way

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September 2nd, 2015 7:40 PM EST by Nathan Reinauer in $2.99, 4 stars, Adventure, Games, iPad Games, Music / Rhythm, Reviews
$2.99 Buy Now

I don’t want to waste your time here, so I’m just going to come right out with it: Gathering Sky [$2.99 (HD)] by A Stranger Gravity is a game that’s probably not going to be everyone’s cup of tea. In fact, it’s barely even a “game” at all. There were long stretches during my playthrough that I didn’t even touch the screen or have any input whatsoever. It’s one of those games that’s more of an experience, maaaan. But stick with me here, ‘cause it’s actually a really good experience...

It's often said that there's a fine line between inspiration and imitation. We see both in varying degrees in the hobby of gaming. The former is without question a good thing, but even the latter can be okay depending on how closely it hews to the source. There's one more category that expression doesn't cover, however, and it's something a bit closer to plagiarism. It's a practice that is unfortunately all too familiar to mobile gaming fans in particular, and it's almost universally frowned upon. In these situations, games are basically copied one-to-one, adding nothing to the medium and depriving the original creator of their rightful reward. It's legal, as far as I can tell, particularly if you're wise enough to swap out art assets, but at least as far as I'm concerned, it's not ethically okay nor is it contributing anything positive to gaming on the whole...

SNK has had a large presence on the App Store for a number of years now, mostly thanks to the many excellent touchscreen ports of their legendary fighting games. However, they've put out some original stuff too, like Metal Slug Defense [Free] which takes the Metal Slug characters and puts them into a castle defense game. Or Beast Busters [Free / $2.99], which crosses over the on-rails gallery shooter arcade game of the same name with King of Fighters characters. Another of SNK's original mobile titles is The Rhythm of Fighters [Free], a game that tasks you with keeping the rhythm during classic SNK tunes while a massive cast of fighters duke it out based on your performance. The Rhythm of Fighters was a really novel idea for a game, and it's only barely a year old, but unfortunately SNK is yanking it off the App Store next week...

This review comes with a small caveat: you have to like the rock band Queen even a little bit to appreciate this game. Otherwise, read this review as a commentary on how a "band" iOS game should be made. And now that we are done with that, let's talk about Queen: Play the Game [$2.99], a mobile game released yesterday out of the blue. I'm quite a Queen fan ever since forever; still, I approached this game to see both what it could offer Queen fans but also how it stands as a model for licensed band games. I'm happy to say that I enjoyed playing the game, and as long as content keeps on coming its way (as the developers said it will), Queen: Play the Game will stand as a great "gameficication" of everything Queen...

This game almost completely slipped under my radar. It released last week to virtually no hype or buzz at all. I downloaded it along with a bunch of other weekly releases and nearly forgot about it entirely. Man am I glad that I decided to boot it up while cleaning my phone's storage instead of deleting it outright. Dynamix[Free] from C4Cat is one of the most interesting and unique, if ultimately flawed, music games in recent memory...

Earlier today we sat down with Disco Pixel, makers of the rhythm title Jungle Rumble: Freedom, Happiness and Bananas [$3.99]. Since its release in 2014, Jungle Rumble has seen enough success in various markets to warrant some significant updates, which were revealed to us at GDC...

Rarely does a game make me question the reason for its very existence. Often times, the objective is clear enough. A game might want to tell a story, to thrill the player and test their reflexes, or even to just make a lot of money by capitalizing on a particular trend. But with Tempo [$1.99], I just cannot for the life of me conceive just why does this game exist? Who thought this game was a valid idea that should exist? It's not a bad idea, but it's the video game equivalent of building a bridge in the middle of a field. Sure, it can be a structurally sound and beautiful bridge, but what exactly was the point of building it in the first place?..

'Planet Quest' Review - Feel The Heavenly Rhythm

Rhythm video games and weird themes go together like peanut butter and jam. It doesn't seem like a natural combination by any means, but most of the best and most successful games in the genre have sported bizarre or abstract themes. That's probably owing to the genre's big break coming with Sony's Parappa The Rapper, a weird yet impossibly charming game about a cartoon dog trying to impress the love of his life, a sunflower named Sunny, learning how to drive or make a cake by rapping along to his instructors' beats. ..

If Super Meat Boy had a rhythm based mini-game, it might look a lot like Give It Up![$0.99]. A strong techno beat drives the latest offering from Invictus. The first time I died the game told me 'Maybe you should go watch TV.' As a fan of good burns, I took this as a good omen of things to come. I was not disappointed...

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 [$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...

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...

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