Okay, so I know I love stories in gaming, stories in anime, all that good stuff, but I’d like to take just a moment to appreciate how stupidly fun Rhythm games are.
Maybe I’m alone in that, but I just love the feeling of steady improvement you get, I love being able to play a game that works so well off music, which is, in and of itself, already a fantastic medium. Rhythm games tie together a perfectionist, growth-based attitude of gaming, with hype, emotional, or just plain awesome music, in a way that no other medium can.
1. Stepmania (2001)
If you’ve ever played DDR, Stepmania is essentially that, but for your computer! It’s honestly rather simple: you assign the arrow inputs to keys on the keyboard, choose any one of a number of community-made tracks, and do your best! Despite being a very simplistic game at its core, the keyboard inputs allow huge amounts of improvements, and Stepmania itself has many, many features that allow for a very customizable experience. From speeding up or slowing down the notes, to flipping them around, changing the graphics, you can do quite a lot with Stepmania.
Personally, I think this game is something that’s extremely satisfying for anyone who really enjoys seeing their improvement. It’s very simple to pick up, but man, the more you play, the more you realize that some people are just INSANE. Your progress is very tangible: a song that you simply couldn’t keep up with before just comes naturally to you, and it’s really, really fun to see happen. Over time, it’s become more and more refined, and definitely, has grown to allow for a lot of customizaiton. Stepmania is a game for simple, fast people, and I think that’s great.
2. Osu! (2007)
Osu is a very unique rhythm game, in that, unlike Stepmania or other similar rhythm games, you don’t just use inputs to meet notes. Rather, you have to track the notes with your mouse, while simultaneously meeting them with either clicks, or keyboard inputs. It looks ridiculous, honestly, but it’s actually rather intuitive after a certain point. It does take some getting used to, but hey, what game doesn’t?
OSU!’s structure and layout is smooth, streamlined, ad it looks just plain polished. It feels like you’re playing something straight out of an arcade, and adding on top of that a huge variety of music, made by people who play the game themselves, and you’ve got a formula for a rhythm game that can be played for hours on end. With a very active community, there’s a near-endless amount of songs to go through and master, and man, when you master a song in OSU!, it feels pretty satisfying, to say the least.
3. Voez (2016)
The most recent rhythm game in this short list, Voez is just one of many, many rhythm games that you can play on your smartphone. Tapping notes in time with the music, hold notes, sliding notes, all the basics are there, but Voez separates itself from the rest of the crowd, not by its intense gameplay, although that is great as well. Rather, Voez just looks freaking pretty. It’s a light show every time you play, and the music selection the game has is absolutely great for a relatively new game.
The company that made Voez, Rayark Inc, is known for their other top-notch games, Cytus and Deemo which are also great in their own right. However, Voez is just such an amazingly pretty game, I can’t help but gravitate towards it. Not to mention- it has a port on the Nintendo Switch, that was released just a month ago. It’s a great rhythm game, and one I heavily enjoyed.