Skillz Review
iPad App
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Skillz Review

Our Review by Jennifer Allen on October 20th, 2011
Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: STUNNING
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Skillz is a challenging but visually and musically stunning music rhythm game.

Developer: Playpen Studios
Price: $5.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0.1
Device Reviewed On: iPad 2

Graphics / Sound Rating: starstarstarstarstar
Game Controls Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar
Gameplay Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar
Replay Value Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar

Overall Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar

Skillz requires genuine skillz to master. That's the first and only time that I'm going to make a skills joke. The game is pretty darn challenging though.

At first, there's the matter of figuring out the best way of holding the iPad. As a DJ Hero style game, Skillz is a title that requires both hands to be quickly moving at all times. The best method is to place the device on a flat surface and tap from that angle. This isn't a game that can be played while on public transport by any means. The player controls two turntables - one on each side of the screen - as well as a crossfader and sample buttons along the bottom. With so much going on, there's a lot to take in.

The actual interace is reminisicent of Guitar Hero as well as DJ Hero. The cross fader is frequently used with a flurry of notes requiring players to move it from left to right. At the same time, numerous scratches will need to be implemented too thanks to the turntable side of the screen. It's a lot to keep track of and at first, the difficulty curve is fiercely steep. I've played plenty of music rhythm games in the past and I was still surprised at the difficulty level on offer here. Even Easy mode takes some getting used to. Fortunately, that does make pulling off a great move all the more satisfying.

Fierce difficulty aside and Skillz is an ideal music rhythm game. There's no noticeable lag meaning that beats can be lined up accurately. Players will only fail because they're not good enough, never because the game falls behind. The Career Mode adds structure to the event with a Custom Play mode geared towards those just wanting a brief go at the game. Five different stages keep things looking interesting and there's an impressive selection of up to 25 different remixes to play. These aren't unknown artists either with the likes of Diplo, Kid Cudi, Crookers and Fedde Le Grand available. DLC is available too for a small fee.

Skillz takes plenty of practice but it's a rewarding title nonetheless. It captures the spirit of console based music games perfectly with some impressive production values making it all the better.

iPad Screenshots

(click to enlarge)

Skillz for iPad screenshot 1 Skillz for iPad screenshot 2 Skillz for iPad screenshot 3 Skillz for iPad screenshot 4 Skillz for iPad screenshot 5
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