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TGS 2017: Hands-On with ‘Rhythm Doctor’, a ‘Rhythm Heaven’-Inspired Music Game

To be frank, I’m surprised that there aren’t more clones of Nintendo’s Rhythm Heaven out there. Especially on mobile devices, where the touch-friendly controls would be right at home. But when you really think about it, as simple as those games appear to be in some ways, they’re probably really tough to pull off. Every once in a while, we do see games that try to channel its spirit, even if they’re not exactly the same thing. Such is Rhythm Doctor, an upcoming release from 7th Beat Games. I got to give the game a try at the Tokyo Game Show and was even able to grab a video of one of the hardest stages.

I should mention that the version at the show was the PC version, hooked up to a big ol’ button controller. The mobile version will be coming early next year, by the sounds of it, and it shouldn’t differ too much from what you can see here. The show demo had a brief tutorial to teach the rhythm that you have to keep, then went right into a boss battle. At first, you can easily see the timing by watching the numbers count off on the on-screen meter. As you get deeper into the fight and whittle down more of the boss’s life bar, the game starts pulling out some tricks to try and throw you off the beat. After I just barely lost to the boss, the guy manning the booth picked up the controller, entered in some sort of code, and faced off against an ultra-hard version of the same boss. It threw far nastier tricks at him, and you can see the results on the video above.

I’m not sure how much more there is to Rhythm Doctor beyond what was on display at the show, but what was there seems pretty fun. The tone is weird and whimsical, and it doesn’t seem particularly concerned with whether or not its settings make any actual sense, so I’d say that they’re on the right track. If we get any additional information about the game, we’ll let you know. Otherwise, you can watch for this one in 2018.