App Reviewed on: iPad Pro
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I like a good rhythm game, but they can be hard to pull off, especially on mobile. Making good use of the touch screen while keeping a game legible and playable on a bunch of different device sizes with different kinds of audio setups usually limits their appeal. Turtoa is a game that understands this and has made a rhythm game that is both straightforward and empowering in a way that makes it really easy to enjoy.
Feel the rhythm
Turtoa is a game where turtles and dragons descend from the top of your screen and reach a designated spot on your screen in a way that synchronizes with the music that is playing. Your job is to tap on turtles and drag on dragons in time with the music to rack up a combo and post a high score on the leaderboards. It's as simple as that.
The game has a soundtrack of 70 songs, each with three different difficulty settings. There's no particular story or progression laid out for these songs, though in the free version of Turtoa you are limited to a small sub-selection of songs to play with the option to pay to unlock more songs.
The unique thing about Turtoa is its song selection. Instead of licensing the typical mega-hits or classic crowd-pleasers, this game sports an eclectic selection of songs from all over the world. Turtoa even organizes its songs on a world map, letting you choose from playlists oragnized by their region of origin.
Despite being somewhat unfamiliar, most of the music in Turtoa is catchy and fun to play along to. In my time with the game, I was particularly fond of the African playlist, which contains a good mix of afrobeat tunes that felt really great to tap out and groove along to, even on the hardest difficulty.
World wide net
In addition to the music, I found Turtoa refreshing because of just how empowering it is as a rhythm game. The timing windows are pretty large and you always have access to powerups that let you slow down or auto-play parts of the song if you need help. This game isn't about demanding perfect performance, but rather enjoying new music in and engaging with it in a novel way.
This all wouldn't work as well as it does if Turtoa didn't have some excellent level design. Every song has meticulously constructed note paths that actually make it feel like you're playing along with the music. This is a crucial component of rhythm games, and the folks at Sillysoft seem to really understand that.
The bottom line
Turtoa is a game that nails the fundamental principles that make a rhythm game fun. It may not have a playlist you're familiar with, but you don't need that with levels that feel this good. Try Turtoa out for yourself by downloading it for free if you don't believe me.