Category Archives: Music / Rhythm

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 [Free] 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 [$1.99], 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 [$1.99]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 [$6.99] 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 [$0.99] 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...

I was originally going to start this review as though I knew what I was talking about in the world of hip hop. I was going to use words like 'swag' and 'fo' shizzle' but then I realized that I am an overweight, middle-aged, white New Zealander, which gives me about as much street cred as Mitt Romney. So, all I'm going to do is talk about the game...

By all rights a game that's billed as an arcade game, a mathematical puzzle game and a rhythm game all in one probably ought to be a mess. Those don't seem like things that should jive. That's the cool thing about Σ12 (Sigma12) [$0.99] though: it makes it work. Those aren't three separate parts vying for attention, they're one entertaining whole. ..

Super School Day [$0.99] plays like any other of the mini-game collections on the App Store, yet it manages to not bore by being (so damn) charming. From the second the game launches it’s crackin’ jokes, successfully entertaining with style and personality. Don’t be fooled, Super School Day is actually a not-so-casual, challenging, laugh-in-the-face of mini-game collections - and succeeded at becoming a by-the-hour affair with me and my iOS devices. These days games like *that* are a rare breed...

Let's be clear: there is little danger of the world ever coming up short on games in the runner genre. Whether it's running left to right, running into the screen, running out of the screen, or running late for dinner, you name it, there are plenty of examples of it available on the App Store. At this point, a runner can really only stand out by doing one of two things: being the absolute best take on the same old ideas, or by bringing a unique hook to the table. Radio Trek: Music Powered Runner [Free] will never be accused of the former, but it wears the latter with pride...

'Melodive' Review - Genres, Take Five

In my fourth year of university, I took a class called Canadian Experimental Shorts. I wasn't optimistic going in (I mean, that title alone puts you to sleep, right?). On my first day, however, instead of handing out notes or instructions, the professor dimmed the lights and showed us something I had never seen before: a film without cameras. Barely longer than two minutes, it was animated entirely onto physical film strip, and packed with color that danced, twinkled, and exploded to the sound of classic jazz. Its name was Cameras Take Five, and it sold me on Canadian Experimental Shorts. Good news if you're looking for something completely original: Melodive [$1.99] is basically Cameras Take Five: The Game...

Fans of Dance Dance Revolution have probably been disappointed ever since the previously released Dance Dance Revolution S+ was removed from the App Store some time ago. Well, Konami is back at it with DDR Dance Wars [Free] a new rhythm game that unfortunately doesn't offer backwards compatibility with the previous title. While Dance Wars obviously does a good job bringing back DDR's music and style to the App Store, its move to a freemium system for unlocking songs feels forced and is highly disappointing...

'Wave Trip' Review - Playing in Music

Mobile games have left their roots behind, no longer relying on entertaining us with a dozen variations of Snake and Bejeweled. Our habits haven't quite kept up. For every one of us that sits and plays an iOS game for hours straight there are many more who will never load up a game for more than five minutes in a sitting. That's reasonable: these games are a diversion on the go for most people. It's just a shame because there are games that can't be digested in five short minutes. Take Lucky Frame's Wave Trip [$0.99]...

We've been waiting for Lucky Frame's follow-up to Bad Hotel [$1.99] since the studio announced its existence back in November, and as of today Wave Trip [$0.99] has finally arrived in the App Store. Like the developer's previous titles, Wave Trip has a clean aesthetic and game mechanics tied closely with music creation...

When Square Enix first released the 3DS version of Theatrhythm Final Fantasy in the US this summer, it was a welcome departure from the standard fare we've come to know from the Final Fantasy name. Instead of creating a standard RPG, Theatrhythm celebrated the incredibly large catalog of music that spans the entire Final Fantasy series with a good rhythm game wrapped in some light RPG garb. With the iOS port of Theatrhythm Final Fantasy [Free], Square Enix has made some significant changes to the game, both good and bad. While some of the changes (particularly in regards to IAP) might turn-off a lot of players, I think the upgrades outweigh most of the bad, making this a rich music game worth checking out...

In July of last year, Taito released their psychedelic rhythm game Groove Coaster [$2.99] to much critical acclaim. It was created by the same team that did the epic Space Invaders Infinity Gene [$4.99 / Free], so you know it had a wild visual style and a unique progression mechanic as you played and slowly "evolved" the game, unlocking new tracks to play as well as new modes and other fun stuff. We thought Groove Coaster was simply awesome in our 5 star review...

'Arranger' Review - A Musical Journey That Shouldn't Be Missed

How to explain Arranger [Free]? It doesn't quite fit into any bucket I'm familiar with. It's a mini-game collection, a classic adventure and a music game all rolled into one strange-looking package, each part coming together into a surprisingly cohesive whole. It's about using the power of music to help people, but also about solving the strangest of problems. It features boss battles that involve shooting brains with musical instruments while emotional defenses try to stop you. It's quirky, yes, but also immensely loveable...

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