Developer: NOTES17 LLC
Price: FREE
Version Reviewed: 1.0.2
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 5

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★☆☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★☆☆
Playtime Rating: ★★★★☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★★☆☆

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

Music theory is one of the trickier parts of learning to play a musical instrument. Learning how to read the musical notes and understand how they each sound different isn’t always that fun to figure out, either. This is where X BEATS hopes to buck that trend.

It’s a puzzle game that relies upon musical notes to solve the challenges. Each level consists of a mostly empty grid. Players then have to fill up the grid based on the note values to reach a certain amount at the end. Predictably, early stages are pretty simple and easy enough to bluff through, although that’s not the point. They simply require matching up 4 beats and there are limited options to ensure you can’t go wrong.

4beats44beats3As you work your way through the levels though, things turn much more taxing. It’s more rewarding too, as well as educational, but this is a game that requires some concentration even despite its innocent exterior. Hints help smooth things out a little bit by highlighting what number each beat represents but expect things to toughen up soon enough as the grid sizes steadily increase.

For those that really want to be taxed, a Challenges mode offering up even harder puzzles certainly go some way to testing your music theory skills.

As an educational tool, X BEATS is pretty useful. Adding any gamification element to learning is always good. As a game, I didn’t find it so gripping. It’s essentially the same concept gradually increasing in difficulty. There’s no expansion on the idea or use of power-ups or anything particularly game-like such as that. However it did boost my limited knowledge of music theory, which is something that makes it ideal for those learning such things.


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