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Beatbuddy HD Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Jennifer Allen on October 2nd, 2014
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: KEEP TO THE BEAT
While its puzzles might not be exceptional, Beatbuddy HD's musical score and visual style are pretty great.
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The Rhythm of Fighters Review

iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
By Lee Hamlet on July 11th, 2014
Our rating: starstarstarblankstarblankstar :: OFF-BEAT
The Rhythm of Fighters can't capture the excitement of its beat-em-up equivalent, due largely to a lacklustre soundtrack.
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Fingertip Maestro Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Angela LaFollette on September 17th, 2013
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: COLORFUL MUSIC
It’s a fun music-making app designed for users of all ages and abilities, and it requires no prior musical training whatsoever.
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Dropchord Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Rob Rich on August 2nd, 2013
Our rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar :: DUB-L FINE
Dropchord is a hypnotic treat for the eyes, ears, and fingers.
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My Muppets Show Review

By Rob Rich on August 2nd, 2013
My Muppets Show plays a familiar tune, but Jim Henson's creations make all the difference.
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RokLienz: On Tour Review

Posted by Rob Rich on July 8th, 2013
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

Developer: Creativity, Inc
Price: FREE
Version: 1.0.1
App Reviewed on: iPad 3
Graphics / Sound Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar
Gameplay Rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar
Playtime Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar
Replay Value Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar


Anyone who's ever watched "The Muppet Show" or "Rocky and Bullwinkle" should be able to understand the importance (and challenges) of creating something for both kids and adults. It's a difficult task that can alienate one or both if handled improperly, so I had some reservations when starting Roklienz: On Tour for the first time. However, aside from a few minor missteps it straddles that line quite well.

The Roklienz are rockin' aliens (hah, get it?) looking to dominate their home planets with some sweet tunes. Yup, that's right, Roklienz: On Tour is a music game. Not just any music game, but a sort of iPad adaptation of Elite Beat Agents (or Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan for purists). For those unfamiliar with this particular style of music interaction it essentially boils down to following the on-screen prompts. Players have to tap/swipe/spin/etc the right icons in the proper order and in-time with the music in order to keep the crowd happy and complete each level. The better they do the more coins they earn to put towards unlocking and buying new planets, extras, or power-ups.

Roklienz: On Tour's gameplay isn't groundbreaking at this point, but it's still quite excellent. Following all the various prompts in the proper order can become a real challenge in later levels and it all blends together with the music really well. I've yet to need to resort to using any of the power-ups but I can certainly appreciate their presence. Plus I imagine they're more for the kids. And speaking of, I have to say I'm a big fan of the sketchy/scribbly art style. It's simple and there aren't more than a handful of frames for each animation, but there's a distinct personality shining through all those colorful critters.

I noticed a few technical issues with Roklienz: On Tour, such as a couple of crashes and prompts that don't always feel like they're timed quite right, but my biggest problem is with the pacing and difficulty. The difficulty, in short, is ridiculously easy throughout the entire first planet. I'm sure it's mostly due to wanting to give young iPad players a chance at having fun, and I can totally appreciate that, but it drags on a little too long and feed in to the pacing problem. The pacing problem being that in order to progress I have to play through every song four times in a row, with the difficulty going up a little each time. It starts to become a drag after the third consecutive time.

While I would have preferred having a way to "fast-forward" to the more difficult stuff, I still had fun with Roklienz: On Tour. It's silly and doesn't take itself too seriously, yet provides a lot of unlockable content and challenges for those willing to stick it out through the first third.

Jam For iPhone Review

iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
By Jennifer Allen on January 31st, 2013
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: CASUAL VOCALS
Pretend to be a rock star with Jam for iPhone, and watch your popularity (hopefully) flourish.
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Mixis Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Jennifer Allen on January 17th, 2013
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: NEWBIE FRIENDLY NOTES
It's not one for musical pros but Mixis is a quite fun if simple way of creating tunes from tapping.
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Flea Symphony Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Angela LaFollette on November 28th, 2012
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: DECENT
Solve challenging musical puzzles by bouncing fleas off drums, guitar strings and other instruments in this unique indie title.
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Arranger Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Rob Rich on November 19th, 2012
Our rating: starstarstarblankstarblankstar :: A LITTLE OFF KEY
Get ready to embark on what is perhaps the most bizarre musical adventure ever! Just be ready for a few stumbling blocks along the way.
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HumStar Free Review

Posted by Rob Rich on October 2nd, 2012
iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad

Developer: Tanla
Price: FREE
Version: 1.0
App Reviewed on: iPhone 3GS
Graphics / Sound Rating: starstarhalfstarblankstarblankstar
Gameplay Rating: starstarhalfstarblankstarblankstar
Playtime Rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar
Replay Value Rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar


As one of “those people” who has absolutely zero musical talent and knows it quite well, I tend to avoid situations that require singing. More than once I’ve had to turn away a disappointed coworker when asked to join them in some Karaoke. It was better for everyone that way, believe me. However, while I shy away from singing I don’t have an issue with humming. It’s the sort of situation HumStar Free was made for. Kind of.

In essence, HumStar Free is Draw Something (and other games like it), only with humming pop songs instead of crudely drawing stick figures. Players set up a game, then take turns selecting songs from a track list, humming a little ditty, then sending their sample to the other player and hoping they can figure out what the song title is. Songs are categorized into Easy, Medium, and Hard, with tougher tunes yielding more coins (needed for hints or shuffling track lists) and less assistance.

HumStar Free has a solid concept behind it. It’s like singing, only it’s not. It offers turn-based multiplayer. It supports random games or games with friends via Facebook or email contacts. And it offers a sizeable selection of songs. Depending on the difficulty selected it even gives both players the chance to listen to a sample of the chosen music in addition to the humming to make figuring it all out easier. But. There’s always a but.

The track list, while extensive, isn’t 100% licensed music. This means that the song listings don’t always provide all the information necessary to figure out what the song actually is. It’s not a huge problem for more immediately notable titles but for slightly more cult classic tunes not having the artist listed tosses a big, unyielding wrench in the works. Seeing a list of three totally unidentifiable songs wouldn’t even be so bad if the songs could be previewed before selection, but they can’t. So I’d often pick a song I thought I knew, only to realize I had no idea what it was once the clip played. I’m sorry, I’m just not a huge Ke$ha fan, so don’t blame me when I have no idea how to properly hum Tik Tok. Having the humming drowned out by the background music that’s intended to act as a hint system doesn’t make things any easier. It just sort of makes noise. Lots and lots of unpleasant noise.

This is not to say that HumStar Free is a waste of time. Far from it for music fans who enjoy playing “Guess the Song” style games with their pals. I just think it needs a fair amount of adjusting before it’s ready for super-stardom.

My Singing Monsters Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Rob Rich on September 14th, 2012
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: A FEW SOUR NOTES
My Singing Monsters is a weird and clever "town" building freemium game, but it's got some serious connection problems.
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Arranger is a Different Sort of Action RPG

Posted by Rob Rich on April 16th, 2012

Hearing about an adventure/music/rpg is enough to pique my interest, and that's exactly what Arman Bohn's Arranger is setting out to be. However, reading over a few of the more descriptive elements has gotten me more than interested. It's gotten me downright excited, actually.

"The game is an Adventure/RPG that combines elements from classics like The Legend of Zelda, WarioWare and the original Sierra adventure games," according to the developer. Now if that doesn't get people's attention then I suppose there's no hope for the world. The mini-game laden adventure is looking pretty fantastic in a simple, retro-esque sort of way. Players will be controlling the tiny musician as they attempt to save the world in a less-then-typical fashion. Rather than direct combat or level-grinding, they'll be gathering a number of musical instruments in order to craft a tune that will avoid whatever this particular catastrophe entails.

Arranger is still a little ways out, being slated for a Summer 2012 release, but it definitely looks like something to keep an eye on. If the trailer below is any indication, it just might be worth the wait. It's also apparently going to have some great music.

Play Along or Create Custom Tunes with Dr. Seuss Band - For Free!

Posted by Rob Rich on February 22nd, 2012
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

Ridiculous and physically impossible musical instruments, with equally ridiculous and physically impossible names, can only mean one thing: Dr. Seuss. Or in this case, a Dr. Seuss Band.

Players can choose from a set of five different horns, then decide whether they'd like to mess around making their own music or try to go for the high score while recreating tunes from one of ten original songs from Hop on Pop to The Cat in the Hat. The sounds each horn makes can be tweaked by adding bizarre attechments such as fishbowls and train whistles, which fits right in, honestly. It's even possible to exchange various horn parts to create some truly weird... things that make noise.

This suitable-for-all-ages piece of musically interactive childhood has just recently seen a price drop, so now anyone can compose their own Seussian melodies on their iOS device for free. Sounds awfully tempting...

Wave Crasher Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Rob Rich on February 17th, 2012
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: HANG ELEVEN
Ride the waves (sound and otherwise) in an unexpectedly entertaining fashion.
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