Last week at GDC 2011 I sat down with developer Booyah! to take a look at their new game DJ Rivals [Free]. In the game you will create your own DJ and cruise around a city battling rival DJ’s using rhythm-based gameplay mechanics. You can choose any real city in the world which will use Google Maps information to populate it with real locations, and as you win DJ battles you’ll earn experience and money which can then be used to level up your character and buy a ton of different items to trick him or her out with.
I quite enjoyed DJ Rivals when I previewed it, and today the game has launched for free in the App Store. There is a story mode to play through with 4 different chapters and dozens of different kinds of quests to complete. You can also obtain “house DJ” status at the various locations by performing well, and then battle the ghost characters of other real life players to either defend your house DJ status or take theirs from them.
DJ Rivals is a freemium title, and as such there is an IAP component called “ice” in addition to the regular currency in the game. I’ve only spent a short time playing so far, but for the most part it appears that you get a good chunk of playtime without ever having to spend a dime if you don’t want to, but you’ll need to have a lot of patience.
Ice can be earned just through playing and so is not strictly IAP, but battling other DJ’s costs stamina points and you’ll either need to spend ice to instantly refill it or else wait for it to slowly refill over a cool down period of 10 minutes per stamina point. This can considerably slow down the pace of the game, but I can’t imagine playing so often that it would be a problem and I wouldn’t be opposed to spending a couple of dollars here and there if I was anxious to keep going.
DJ Rivals is free to download and try, and if a rhythm-based game with RPG-esque elements sounds interesting to you then it’s worth checking out. The rhythm battling is pretty fun, and there’s loads of things to collect and do in the game. And at the very least it’s a more fun and interesting freemium title than your average farming sim.