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Gaming 101: Rhythm Games

In this series, we are learning how different aspects of video games work by playing games that offer an easy introduction to this one concept. This is designed for people new to gaming, and aims to identify games with the least barriers. In this entry we are looking at Rhythm games.

Rhythm video games are played while listening to music or a drum beat of some kind. To progress well you have to press buttons and interact in time with the music. Sometimes this is simply to make music in its own right, while at others it's to interact in others ways, often called Rhythm Action.

Many rhythm games include multiplayer modes in which players compete for the highest score or cooperate as a simulated musical ensemble. Along with gamepads, specialised input devices (plastic instruments, dance mats and the like) enable a more creative interaction.

The Rhythm interaction can be combined with all manner of other genres. This adds another later to Platform, Adventure or Shooting games. In these instances, hitting buttons in time with the beat offers additional effects or powered-up attacks. The Rhythm nature of these video games can also add an Active aspect to play. Not only do you find yourself moving your body in time with the beat to get the right timing, but some of these games offer a fully active dance experience where motion and gestures are detected by controllers.

This list includes 11 games from the last 11 years, with 118 likes. They come from a range of different genres and play-styles and are all good games if you want to play your first rhythm game.

DetailsList Details

PEGI Ratings: PEGI 3 to PEGI 12
ESRB Ratings: ESRB EVERYONE to ESRB TEEN
Australian Ratings: G to M
Genres: Action, Adventure, Narrative, Physically Active, Platform, Puzzle, Rhythm, Shooting, Simulation, Sports and Turn-Based
Total Likes: 118
 

 

Rainbow Billy

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 8-12 year-olds

Release Date: 05/10/2021

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Genres: Adventure, Narrative, Platform, Rhythm and Turn-Based

Accessibility: 32 features

Developer: We Are Mana Void (@WeAreManaVoid)

Players: This is a single player game

Rainbow Billy: The Curse of the Leviathan is a role-play adventure where you save the world from a colourless darkness. Unusually, battles are won through listening and conversation rather than traditional attacks. It combines the excitement and...

Eloh

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Release Date: 11/10/2018

Platforms: Android and iOS

Genres: Puzzle and Rhythm

Developer: Broken Rules (@BrokenRules)

Players: This is a single player game

Eloh is a puzzle game with an unusual dual focus. You may start playing to solve the puzzles, but it soon draws you in to appreciate and take time over the rhythms you create in doing so. It creates a low pressure puzzle with a meditative feel.

Rhythm Doctor

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 7

Release Date: 26/02/2021

Platforms: PC

Genres: Narrative and Rhythm

Accessibility: 20 features

Developer: 7 th Beat (@7thBeat)

Players: You can play with 2 players in the same room

Rhythm Doctor is a rhythm game about shocking patients' hearts back in sync with their heartbeats to save their lives. You press a single button on the 7th beat to defibrillate each patient. It sounds simple but each level has a unique illnesses based...

A Dance of Fire and Ice

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Release Date: 25/01/2019

Platforms: Android, PC and iOS

Genres: Puzzle and Rhythm

Accessibility: 22 features

Developer: 7 th Beat (@7thBeat)

Players: This is a single player game

A Dance of Fire and Ice is a one-button rhythm game where you control a pair of spheres. You press a button to the beat of the music to progress through the mazes. Each press pivots the direction of motion of the paired spheres to make turns and cross...

Jump Rope Challenge

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 4+ year-olds

Release Date: 15/06/2020

Price: Free

Platforms: Switch

Genres: Action and Rhythm

Developer: Nintendo (@Nintendo)

Players: You can play with 2 players in the same room

Jump Rope Challenge is a virtual skipping game where you hold the Switch controllers like rope handles and skip. The game displays an on-screen counter and you can play with another person at the same time as you compete for a high score.

Sayonara Wild Hearts

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Release Date: 19/11/2019

Platforms: PS4, Switch and iPhone, iPad

Genres: Narrative and Rhythm

Accessibility: 14 features

Developer: Simogo (@Simogo)

Players: This is a single player game

Sayonara Wild Hearts is a rhythm-action game where you control a running, flying, dancing or motorbike-riding character to collect coins and hearts in time with pop music. The neon visuals and emotively voiced story make this an unusual and compelling...

Chime (Series)

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Release Date: 03/02/2010, updated in 2019

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS3, PS4, Switch, Xbox 360 and Xbox One

Genres: Puzzle and Rhythm

Developer: Zoe Mode (@ZoeMode)

Players: This is a single player game

Chime is a block-dropping music puzzle game where you control a single shape to move, rotate, and then place it onto a grid. A beatline moves across the grid in time with the music, setting off events when it hits placed shapes.

Klang 2 (Series)

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Release Date: 22/09/2016, updated in 2021

Price: 20% off

Platforms: PC, PS4, PS5, Switch and Xbox One

Genres: Action, Rhythm and Shooting

Accessibility: 30 features

Developer: Tinimations (@Tinimations)

Players: This is a single player game

Klang 2 is a psychedelic rhythm-action game. You take on enemies in this symbolic universe of three attacks: stikes, dashes and holds. The simple system interplays with the pulsing music to create a rhythm based high-speed combat challenged. Like the...

Rhythm Thief and The Emperor's Treasure

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Release Date: 05/04/2012

Platforms: 3DS and 2DS and iOS

Genres: Narrative, Puzzle and Rhythm

Developer: Sega (@Sega)

Players: This is a single player game

Rhythm Thief & the Emperor’s Treasure is a more substantial story told with cartoons interwoven with rhythm-action challenges. You play an 18-year-old boy with a secret identity as an art-thief. He’s searching for his father and, in order to find...

Rock Band 4 (Series)

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Release Date: 06/10/2015, updated in 2017

Platforms: PS4 and Xbox One

Genres: Physically Active, Rhythm and Simulation

Developer: Harmonix (@Harmonix)

Players: You can play with 4 players in the same room and up to 4 players online

Rock Band 4 is a music rhythm game. Play along with licensed music using specially made plastic controllers acting as guitars, drum kits and microphones. The game comes with 65 songs spanning the 1960's to 2010's. The music appears as coloured blocks...

Super Sports Beat

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 5-11 year-olds

Release Date: 28/10/2015, updated in 2017

Platforms: Switch and iOS

Genres: Action, Rhythm and Sports

Developer: Harmonix (@Harmonix)

Players: You can play with 4 players in the same room

Super Bear Sports is a sports rhtyhm game where you move your character in time with the music to swing, volley, and score points in different events.

Taming Gaming Book Written by parents for parents, the database complements the in-depth discussion about video game addiction, violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. We are an editorially independent, free resource without adverts that is supported by partnerships.

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