Developer: Konami Digital Entertainment
Price: Free
Version: 1.1.1
App Reviewed on: iPhone 4S

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★☆
Game Controls Rating: ★★★★☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★★☆
Playtime Rating: ★★½☆☆
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: ★★★☆☆

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

Although Guitar Hero and Rock Band were all the rage a couple of years ago, the buzz for these rhythm games has died down quite a bit. However, this genre hasn’t completely disappeared and has become quite popular on iOS devices. Tap Tap Revenge is the most notable game to land on the App Store, but it has one fatal flaw: the inability to play your own music directly within the game without jumping through hoops.

Beat Gather is a free rhythm game that aims to solve this issue. Not only do players tap to the beats from their music library, they also flick and swipe to their favorite songs. The game does this by auto-generating YUBIFU (special game notes), or players can make their own. A few other awesome features include a moving bar, curving notes, and the ability to share a song YUBIFU with other gamers.

There’s a quick tutorial to get gamers started. The notes must be tapped as they reach the bar. Some notes will need swiped, others require gamers to tap and hold, and there are also notes that fall at different speeds. Since the bar moves around, notes may come from both the top and bottom– making the game more challenging. The final score is based off combos and score bonuses. It’s possible to fail a game by missing too many notes or not scoring high enough so it’s essential to hit as many as possible.

When it’s time to play a song, Beat Gather comes with one free slot. After a song is selected, gamers have the option to make their own YUBIFU, let the game auto generate one or download and play a YUBIFU that has been created by another user. Each file typically has four difficultly modes: basic, medium, hard and extreme but not all modes are unlocked.

BG points are earned every day for playing the game and they are used to purchase new slots for songs. Since the game only comes with one slot for free, players will either have to rotate songs out or save up enough BG points to purchase a new one. For those who are impatient, Extra Slots may be purchased for an additional $0.99. This IAP also unlocks all the game modes from the start.

While there are a few ways to play, it’s disappointing that there is no way to pay and unlock the game to have additional slots instead of resorting to in-app purchases or playing the waiting game. It’s also a letdown that the game is online only. If users don’t have constant internet access, it’s impossible to play. Despite these downfalls, Beat Gather is free to play for those who don’t mind starting off with one song slot, as Beat Gather has a lot of potential.

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