Developer: Shortbreak Studios
Price: $2.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 5

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★½☆
Game Controls Rating: ★★★★☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★★☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★★☆☆

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

Despite once enjoying learning to play the keyboard, my musical skills are pretty lacking these days. This hasn’t stopped me enjoying the educational fun of Beat the Melody. It’s a clever game all about teaching its players to recognize how high or low a note in a piece of music is, before repeating it to show it’s been understood. It is a bit expensive, though.

beatthemelody4Designed alongside the work of the Wroclaw Music Academy in Poland, Beat the Melody is a fine starting point for young and old, when it comes to understanding the difference between notes. It’s a simple idea. Players must listen to a brief clip of notes, often from a famous piece of music, before re-enacting it on the screen. No specific notes are shown on screen. Instead, high notes are represented on one side of the screen while low notes are on the other, with an appropriate mix in between.

Tap a note and a color demonstrates if the note is correct or wrong. At first, it’s a little confusing for the musically challenged. Not so much because of how Beat the Melody demonstrates things, but in terms of mastering the different notes available. Play through a few songs/levels, though, and it all begins to make sense. Beat the Melody offers a gradual learning curve so early tracks only require remembering and figuring out a few notes at a time, unlike later stages which require 30 or more notes.

It’s satisfying to get something right, and gain those all-important three stars, even if such a task will prove quite tough after a time. The mixture of music is fun, too, comprising of famous pieces of classical music as well as famous nursery rhymes such as Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. Such familiarity goes some way to making things simpler.

Beat the Melody is a fun app and potentially very educational, but it is let down by an expensive pricing structure. For the basic $2.99 price, players can only use a piano in the levels, with further instruments unlocked for $0.99 each or $3.99 for all the instruments. It’s an expensive tool, no matter how much fun it may be, and an unfortunate downside to an otherwise great edutainment game.

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