Tag: Rhythm game »
App Reviewed on: iPad 3
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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.
The excellent rhythm game from Taito, Groove Coaster now has a free version, Groove Coaster Zero. This excellent unique take on the rhythm game is definitely worth a look.
Michael Jackson may be gone, but if Michael Jackson The Experience is any indication, it seems that his music and his legacy will be with us forever. After showing up on every platform from the Wii to the PSP to the iPad, Ubisoft’s rhythm game tribute to the world’s favorite smooth criminal has now arrived on the iPhone. Luckily, this mobile version comes with a few new reasons for players to not stop until they get enough.
While the game retains the iPad version’s rhythm gameplay, the input system where players “draw a series of shapes with their fingers according to the beat and choreography of the Michael Jackson avatar” has been adapted for the smaller screen. The game also includes two new, exclusive songs: “Leave Me Alone” and “Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough.” The rest of the soundtrack consists of “The Way You Make Me Feel,” “Smooth Criminal,” “Speed Demon,” and “Blood on the Dance Floor.” More songs can also be purchased in-game.
Remember the time, on the go. Michael Jackson The Experience for iPhone is available now for $2.99 on the App Store.
Developer: APD Inc
Version Reviewed: 1.1
Device Reviewed On: iPad 2
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I keep hearing rhythm games are dead, yet hardly a week goes by when I don't see a new one in the App Store. They generally come in two varieties: hit the notes as they cross a playline like the Tapulous series, or platforming games that use music and beats to help control the action like Beat Sneak Bandit. Mad Acorn, the latest music game that falls loosely into the second category, is a great example of how to distill a concept to its core, then create so much visual appeal it compensates for the simplicity.
Normally I ignore backstories or wrap them up quickly, but Mad Acorn is set in a comic book world. I won’t spoil the plot, because the comic panels are arguably the best part of the package. As for gameplay, players have the easiest objective. The game is an auto runner, so the irate squirrel hero moves relentlessly forward across levels based in four worlds. By keeping the beat with a touch anywhere on the screen players ensure he jump over hurdles and punches foes with one tap. The game adjusts the specific action to fit the circumstances so all there really is to do is listen to the drums and baseline and tap along.
Most beats coincide with something to kill or avoid, but there are “missing” beats too. Players can find them by listening carefully to the pattern and tapping even when no obstacle is present. It’s a neat feature, but oddly not one players earn any reward for beyond hearing a thump and seeing the number found at the end of the level in the stats.
The music is unusual and likely underground. I don’t quite know what to call it. It’s got heavy bass and an electronic dance vibe. It’s auspicious if one happens to like the grooves, since the game isn’t easy - tracks replay quite a lot. Once gamers find the tempo, however, getting long combos is easy.
I had a little trouble with the controls on iPad. I have a decent sense of rhythm and sometimes found my taps went unregistered even in early levels. But, the game is forgiving, Mad Acorn allots players three lives that can be replenished occasionally by taking out baddies with hearts over their heads.
Mad Acorn hasn’t much depth, but it does have some really nice visuals, the great art, and inherent replay value based on desire to get better, rather than through extraneous incentives. It’s a great pick-up-and-play title and solid summer casual gaming choice.