EchoChamber is the title hoping to be funded by it. It’s described as a rhythm game with a “unique twist.” It’s a free-to-play local multiplayer title that uses positional audio to get players to follow various cues and perform gestures in time with the music. I took the time to learn more from Cody Lee, co-founder and developer at Little bit Games.
148Apps: How did the idea for echoChamber come about? Cody Lee (CL): The idea for echoChamber came about after playing the game SpaceTeam with friends. It seemed like such a unique and original idea and utilized your phone for multiplayer in a way that I’d never seen before. It kinda blew my mind and I started to think of other ways we could use mobile devices for multiplayer experiences that you couldn’t get on any other platform. I spent a lot of time picturing people physically standing around with friends, trying to come up with games that required that physical space, and that used the capabilities of modern cell phones.
148Apps: Why the decision to be free to play? CL:echoChamber is a multiplayer only game, and is more fun the more people you are playing with. It seemed natural for us to release the game as a free download so people can start playing it as easily as possible with their friends without requiring everybody to commit to purchasing it. We’ll be releasing additional tracks as paid DLC for people who want to extend their experience beyond the base tracks.
148Apps: How hard has it been to implement the positional sound effects? CL: Doing the positional audio itself isn’t too bad. It’s really just a matter of adjusting volume for the different devices to get the desired effect we want. The hardest part has been synching the playback of the track on all of the devices while accounting for network latency. If the sound is out of sync at all, the positional effect is lost, and you get more of an echo. If it’s REALLY out of sync it just sounds like garbage!
148Apps: What other challenges have you faced? CL:echoChamber started out as more of a Pong-like game where sound would move around and players would have to tap their screens to hit the “ball” away. The problem is it’s hard to know when the ball has reached you. It get’s louder so you know it’s closer, but how loud is the “loudest” and “closest”. That’s why we ended up going the rhythm game route. When there’s a set beat, and the ball moves to the beat, it’s easier to know when the sound will “hit”. We’ve since moved away from the Pong aspect of the game and are focusing more on an overall fun musical experience instead.
148Apps: When do you hope to release echoChamber? CL: If the Kickstarter goes well, we hope to release some time early next year. If it doesn’t go well… we’re not sure.
The Kickstarter campaign runs until December 27, with a wide selection of backer rewards to cover everyone’s budget.
Thanks to Cody for taking the time to answer our questions. We’ll be sure to keep an eye on echoChamber‘s progress.
Beatstream is a rhythm game that dynamically generates levels to go along with a player's music library. The graphics are unimpressive, but the game play is fun and the replay value is as big as one's catalog of music.
The top gift on most holiday lists this year is undoubtedly a new iPad, iPhone or iPod touch. To celebrate, Disney Mobile’s very popular rhythm music game Tap Tap Revenge is running its biggest holiday deal yet. Leading up to New Year’s Eve, Tap Tap Revenge is giving away a song a day, including a few holiday favorites, Grammy nominations, and hit singles from the world’s biggest music acts, including Cold Play, who’s hit new song “Hurts Like Heaven” is Sunday’s free track. Lady Gaga’s “Marry The Night” was Thursday’s free track.
As for holiday cheer, they’re also giving away Bootsy Collins & Snoop Dogg’s “Happy Holidaze 2012” on December 26. Other hit songs being given away for free in the holiday promotion include, “Feel So Close” from Calvin Harris, “Body Work” from Morgan Page (ft. Tegan & Sara) and The Band Perry’s smash hit “If I Die Young.” Other bands include Alkaline Trio, She Wants Revenge, Coleman & Chris, Ivy, Chancellor Warhol and The Outfield.
It’s unfortunate that we’ll almost never see DJ Hero on the iPad. It was an ideal game for such a device but as it sold rather poorly for the various consoles, it’s probably never going to happen. Still, this is an ideal time for a game such as Playpen Studios’ Skillz: The DJ Game.
Looking distinctly like an iPad equivalent of DJ Hero, Skillz offers a career mode as well as full mixing using crossfades, scratching and samples. The touch screen interface ensures that it’s simple to get to grips with and a series of achievements and unlockable venues and playable characters keeps the game fresh. Tracks recently revealed for launch include:
• Kid Cudi Vs. Crookers – “Day ‘N’ Nite” Vs. Hoxton Whores – “Friday Saturday Love”
• Mr Scruff – “Test The Sound”
• Roots Manuva – “Witness (1 Hope)”
• Roots Manuva – “Buff Nuff”
• Guilty Simpson & Oh No – “Futuristic” feat. MED
• Poirier – “Wha-La-La-Leng” feat. Face T
• Nu Tone – “Never Together” feat. Logistics
• “Stones Throw Megamix 1” featuring tracks from artists including Dam Funk, James Pants, and Oh No
• “Stones Throw Megamix 2” featuring tracks from artists including Maker, Lazer Sword and Cx kidtronic
• “Om Megamix” featuring tracks from artists including King Kooba, Andy Caldwall and Chuck Love
• “Ninja Tune Megamix” featuring tracks from artists including Blockhead, Ty, Mr Scruff and Roots Manuva
There’ll be 25 tracks in all.
Check out the gameplay video below. Skillz: The DJ Game is out soon and we’ll be sure to cover it.
Music rhythm game Pulse: Volume One was a big hit last month when John Bardinelli reviewed and raved about it. However it was lacking in content at the time weighing in with only 8 songs at all, meaning less than 15 minutes worth.
Developer Cipher Prime has taken this on board and a new update for the game has just been released. This update adds four new and thrilling levels showcasing tracks written exclusively for the game. They’re an excellent bunch too, each song coming from independent musicians local to the Philadelphia area. In order of appearance and difficulty level, there’s Cooper and the Fantastic Machine with “Klokwerk,” George and Jonathan with “Tidbits,” Ghost Fight with “Veedja” and Zilla Persona with “Follow My Voice.”
It’s worth noting that these are all rather challenging for the player but it does mean a 50% increase in song numbers for the games.
Cipher Prime also promises new updates soon which should be great to see.
Pulse: Volume One’s update is available now.
For those who haven’t played Pulse: Volume One yet, it’s a $4.99 download and is well worth the asking price.
Tap Tap Revenge will forever be remembered as the first true music game on the app store. Since the dawn of the App Store, Tap Tap Revenge and its subsequent sequels have defined music games on iOS devices. To put it into perspective: the previous iterations of Tap Tap (including Tap Tap Revenge Classic, Tap Tap Revenge 2.6, and Tap Tap Revenge 3) are three of the top ten all-time paid downloads in the App Store. Yikes.
Tap Tap Revenge 4 debuted about a month ago to record downloads, continuing the series’ tradition of rampant popularity. Tap Tap Revenge 4 brings many changes to the table along with its tried-and-true formula. The game still revolves around tapping “notes” as they scroll towards you, but now there’s also an Arcade Mode and up-to-date global leaderboards thanks to Game Center. You can also engage in online battles against other players. Given that Tap Tap claims 15 million players, you ought to be able to find someone to test your tapping skills against. The graphics are also much spiffier, though now the company recommends you play on a third- or fourth-generation device.
Of course, one of the foremost reasons people love rhythm games is the music itself. Tap Tap Revenge 4 includes plenty of paid tracks like its predecessors, but there’s a decent library of over a hundred free songs as well. Additionally, Tapulous promises that a new free song will be released every week. The music trends toward the mainstream, but that doesn’t make it bad. You’ll find hits from artists like Linkin Park, My Chemical Romance, Rihanna, Owl City, and Avenged Sevenfold, just to name a few of the stars on Tapulous’s lineup.
Tap Tap Revenge has a long and successful history on the App Store. This fourth iteration delivers more of the same, but in this case, “more of the same” should be more than enough to sate even the most rabid rhythm-lovers. For now, Tap Tap Revenge is free on the App Store. Grab it while it’s hot!
WINta—that crazy acronym stands for “War Is Not the Answer”—is a new music rhythm game that claims it’s trying to reinvent the genre. WINtA does away with the now-typical “track of notes” approach. Instead, different shapes appear on screen, and you tap them in rhythm with the lyrics. The game includes one free song; others are available for in-app purchase at $0.99. The developer promises that more free tracks will be released in the future, along with other paid songs.
Speaking of the developer, WINtA is the brainchild of developer Masaya Mastuura, a Japanese developer. The app’s description calls him the “inventor” of the music genre, citing his 1996 release Parappa the Rapper. Also, Ngmoco is publishing WINtA, so the game features full Plus+ integration, including leaderboards and achievements.
But perhaps happiest of all: WINtA is part of the OneBigGame organization, meaning that ten percent of the profits from each extra track you buy go towards OneBigGame’s partners. Currently, OneBigGame is partnered with the Starlight Children’s Foundation and Save the Children. The Starlight Children’s Foundation works with children with terminal illnesses and their families, while Save the Children works to improve many aspects of children’s lives.
WINtA is a simple game with a simple premise, but it’s hard not to like a game built for charity. Plus, Winta is free to try…so why not give it a download? Unfortunately the game isn’t compatible with early-generation iPod Touches or iPhones, but those with newer devices are free to go.
The Tap Tap Revenge franchise is already a huge one and it just became even bigger. Developer Tapulous has just released Tap Tap Revenge 4, and the newest edition of the game bundles the franchise’s huge back-catalog of songs together into one massive app. As if that weren’t enough, the game comes pre-loaded with over 100 free songs to tap along to, featuring bands such as Linkin Park and My Chemical Romance. The crew behind the game has also been updating the store, adding tracks from artists such as Nelly, Katy Perry and more.
The app is also showcasing a slickly redesigned interface, optimized for the iPhone’s new Retina Display. The game is also integrating Game Center, as well as a like button which will show you which tracks are most popular amongst you and your friends, as well as constantly updating leaderboards to show who’s got the fastest fingers. This is easily the most comprehensive game in the series, and there’s really no reason for franchise fans to skip out.
The genius of Tap Tap Revenge is the freemium model it follows, tempting users with free songs and then hooking them into buying premium tracks. The fact that Tapulous releases a new free song every week means that players are constantly checking back into the app, and while they’re browsing they may just find a song or two they wouldn’t mind paying to add to their collection. Granted, the music in the game tends to skew towards the Top 40 charts, but its hard to blame the developers for that, they’re just giving the people what they want.
Though Rock Band and Guitar Hero may own the console scene, Tap Tap Revenge dominates iOS, and rightly so. The sheer volume of content available and free price tag is music to the ears of gamers, and this latest edition only serves to further cement Tap Tap’s place at the top of the heap. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to tap some Katy Perry, take that sentence in whatever way you want.
Rubicon have kept their ears open and made a number of changes to Combat Monsters based on the feedback received from fans. The new update provides users with a revamped user interface, a new skeleton monster, asynchronous multiplayer, and new matchmaking that keeps the multiplayer battles fair with no need to pay to win.