Version Reviewed: 0.1
Graphics / Sound Rating:
Game Controls Rating:
iPhone Integration Rating:
Re-use / Replay Value Rating:
Rock Band style music games are a dime a dozen these days, with a ridiculous amount of imitators present in the App Store. While many of these games have been successful (TapTap Revolution has probably sold its 10 trillionth copy by now), none have really done anything to progress the genre. Most stick to the tried and true method of letting beats and notes come at you on some sort of astral plane, making you tap a line at the bottom to play the note. This works great on consoles with the big guitar accessories, but the iPhone is a different animal that deserves a different control system.
Tag Games, maker of B-Boy Beats, decided to step up to this challenge and made a music game that not only requires beat tapping, but a field that requires you to use both hands and the entire screen. The game works by giving you a field with two colored circles in the middle of it, one for your index finger and one for your middle finger. Once the music starts, you do a combination of moving your fingers to the corresponding color by either tapping or sliding and using your other hand to hit the third color beats that appear at random throughout some of the levels.
Because of the unique play control, the game seems like a cross between Rock Band and Twister. Instead of simply tapping when a dot comes down, the colored circles appear all over the screen, and even occasionally make you put your index finger where the middle finger was only seconds before. Mastering B-Boy Beats requires quite a bit of finger dexterity and a ton of concentration. If you are solid at patting your head while rubbing your stomach, you'll probably be quite good at B-Boy Beats.
Being a music game, the music is a fairly large thing for the game to get right, and the offering is quite solid. While there are no instantly recognizable musicians, the music is all a very polished, smart hip hop fare. If you are in to Jurassic 5 or anything by Del the Funky Homosapian, you'll probably dig the music. The graphics are also of high quality, but they aren't anything truly special. Everything is decidedly urban, with the main setting being in NYC.
If I were to pick on the app at all, I would say that it could use a few more bonuses. Each level in the game is basically the same… get through the song without screwing up so bad you lose. Once you start doing really good you get a x2 multiplier, but it would be nice to have something like an overdrive mode for when you really get going. I'd also like to see a multiplayer mode added. I'd love to be able to play some of my friends over 3G or WiFi.
Overall, B-Boy Beats is a solid music game offering. It is very different from the typical Rock Band game, and the unique control scheme works really well, even without a bunch of screen real estate. There are some things that I would like to see added on in the future, such as multiplayer and more bonuses, but the game is quite good as-is. For less than the cost of a Jamba Juice smoothie, B-Boy Beats could be yours today.