Thursday, September 27, 2012

Determined Frustration: Why Rhythm Heaven Is Extremely Annoying But Amazingly Fun

Welcome to Rhythm Heaven, a fun test for your patience.
Anyone knows that a good game is fun to play; that pretty much goes without saying. But a really good game is one that is not only fun to play but one that always leaves you just two seconds away from completely destroying it, frustrating you just enough to present a challenge that keeps you coming back for more without making you want to give up forever.

Rhythm Heaven is that game. Excruciatingly frustrating at times, but almost impossible to put down. 

Once you get used to holding your DS vertically like a book instead of the normal horizontal orientation, the controls are deceivingly simple. Pretty much all of the games require you to tap or flick the touch screen or use a combination of the two (one does use the R button, but it's not too much of a stretch). And the overall concept is simple too: follow the beat of the music to clear the game. Whether you're playing soccer in space, building unexplained objects or kicking bombs to practice karate, all you have to do is flick and tap in time to some surprisingly catchy songs. Easy enough, right?

Well, not really. This game starts off slow, but then you realize that the creators have thought of almost every single tap and flick combination possible with the intention of making this simple concept as difficult as possible. One moment you're bopping your head to the music or singing along, the next you're stabbing the screen wondering why you just can't seem to get it right.

You might find the individual games easy to handle but that's where the remixes come in. Each one combines a handful of games in random ways to create new songs and trip you up just when you reach your stride. If you don't think that's bad enough, the challenge of a perfect performance is guaranteed to take up a chunk of your life. Especially since it doesn't count until the game gives you the opportunity, which seems to be randomly triggered over time. And you only get three chances. Mess up and you have to wait all over again.

In all seriousness, this is the only game that is much easier to handle with your eyes closed. The graphics--though very charming in their theme-matching simplicity and quirkiness--are more distracting than the crazy backgrounds used in the higher levels of Tetris. The game even suggests that you don't pay to much attention to them if you mess up at a certain point. It's called Rhythm Heaven for a reason.

The big point I'm trying to make here: If you haven't tried this game, go find it now. And get ready to get a bit angry. The thrill of success is well worth the frustration.

Have you played Rhythm Heaven? What do you think about it? Is there any game that you love to struggle with?


  1. Hi Erin

    I enjoyed your Rhythm Heaven blog. I have never played this game myself. I have just started a new project on Indiegogo to build a female-friendly gaming social network. I'd love for you to check it out. If you like it then hopefully you'll spread the word. Project is here

    Keep up the good work!

    1. Thank you so much! I will definitely take a look at that project. It looks like a fantastic idea.


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