Developer: Forever Entertainment
Version Reviewed: 1.0.0
Device Reviewed On: iPad 2
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Chopin, the great Romantic composer is celebrating his 200th birthday with his very own iOS game, but don’t expect subtle piano and sweet imagery. Frederic - Resurrection of Music HD is a rhythm game with plenty of rock, techno, country, even reggae beats in the opuses and nocturnes. More than that this is one of the funniest games I’ve played. It’s available for iPhone laughs too.
Polish game developer Forever Entertainment unearthed their homegrown virtuoso and inserted him into a mash-up of modern contexts. The arcade music gaming is served between comic book style animations that take players on a trip from the crypt to the sunny shores of Jamaica, the borderlands of West Texas to New York and across the oceans to world capitals. Each setting has its own pop-culture references and musical genre.
The story starts off unspectacularly with a bizarre encounter between recently resurrected Freddy and the Muses who urge him on a quest to save music. To do so he must challenge a motley crew of not-so-bad guys in keyboard-to-keyboard duels playing his melodies arranged with decidedly contemporary vibes.
The tale can be tapped through to skip since there’s no game component to make the plot relevant, but resist the temptation. It turns funny fast and the art is excellent.
The duels are typical rhythm games with a piano bias. Notes slide down strings and players have to aim for the sweet spot on the right keys while keeping the beat as they cross the play line. There are sustained notes - denoted as eighth-notes with a trail - and other pedal effects controlled by swipes.
The nine songs can be blasted through in under an hour in regular mode, but to win at Chopin level perfection is required and on any difficulty setting Frederic must win to advance the story and unlock new music. A little trial and error adds up to plenty of combos and score multipliers.
There are some crashing issue on older devices, but apparently a fix is in the works. Still, this behemoth - almost 900mb - is best experienced on an A5 device.
One big issue: the songs ought to remain unlocked on one difficulty while trying another. The story is great, but once is enough. Having to tap through the whole thing and replay all songs that precede a favorite is odious.
A separate quick-play mode would add a lot of replay value. Some indication of where the money spot is on the keys - perhaps in a tutorial - and more variety between the three skill levels would be welcome too.
That said, Frederic - Resurrection of Music is cleverer than most of what’s on TV and at its current price of $1.99 costs the same as a one-episode rental. The comic value along with great arrangements and solid gameplay makes this a worthy investment.