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Music Powered Play on Xbox One

Music has been an important part of video games since specialised sound chips made composing and playing back music possible during the advent of 8-bit home computers in the 80s. This gave many games a unique sound, but it was how the music interacted with gameplay that was really interesting.

We worked on this list of games where music is integral to play with Andreas Zecher. He runs the amazing Polylists resource, a website for those working in games to share lists of recommended games under self-chosen topics. His list, here, features games where music goes further than just providing a great soundtrack. In these games, music is at the core of the player’s experience. Some putting players in a state of flow, and others reacting to the player's every action like an instrument being played.

The sensory experiences of Tetris Effect Connected or Thumper would not be possible without the music that they are based on. Everyday Shooter and Sayonara Wild Hearts let players interactively experience a lo-fi indie rock and frenzy pop music album respectively. Sound Shapes is a clever platformer that doubles as a 16-step sequencer, common in the creation of electronic dance music. These games spark curiosity in how music works as they explore rhythm, harmonies and the joy of performing and actively listening to music.

This list includes 6 games from the last 8 years, with 5 likes. They come from a range of different genres and play-styles and are all good games if you want to .

DetailsList Details

PEGI Ratings: PEGI 3 to PEGI 12
ESRB Ratings: ESRB EVERYONE to ESRB TEEN
Australian Ratings: G to PG
Genres: Action, Fighting, Physically Active, Platform, Puzzle, Racing, Rhythm, Shooting and Simulation
Total Likes: 5
 

 

Thumper

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Release Date: 10/10/2016, updated in 2019

Platforms: Android, PC, PS4, Stadia, Switch, Xbox One and iOS

Genres: Action, Fighting and Rhythm

Developer: Marc A Flury (@MarcAFlury)

Players: This is a single player game

Thumper is a rhythm game where you guide a beetle-like creature through music track by pressing buttons in time. Unlike other music games, the focus is on impact and combat rather than soaring tunes. It's described by the developer as a rhythm-violence...

Conga Master

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

Release Date: 14/09/2016, updated in 2019

Platforms: PC, PS Vita, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Genres: Action, Puzzle and Racing

Developer: Undercoders (@Undercoders)

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

Conga Master is a action dancing game about getting the most people to join your conga line. It's like the classic Nokia game Snake with an unusual dancing twist. Play involves using two buttons to steer left or right. You dance your way around a club,...

Tetris Effect: Connected

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 7-16 year-olds

Release Date: 09/11/2018, updated in 2021

Platforms: Oculus, PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S

Genres: Puzzle and Rhythm

Developer: Mizuguchitter (@Mizuguchitter)

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

Tetris Effect is a tile-matching puzzle game (just like the original Tetris) but with a surprisingly powerful aesthetic twist. The game places each level in a themed area and ties gameplay to the beat of the music across its thirty different stages.

140

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Release Date: 16/10/2013, updated in 2020

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch, Wii U and Xbox One

Genres: Platform and Rhythm

Accessibility: 1 feature

Developer: Carlsen Games (@CarlsenGames)

Players: This is a single player game

140 is a sliding, rolling and jumping game where you control a changing geometric shape to traverse a minimalist world. It's challenging for the timed jumps and reactions but keeps distractions to a minimum with its abstract colorful graphics.

Aaero

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Skill Rating: 10-14 year-olds

Release Date: 11/04/2017, updated in 2018

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Genres: Action, Rhythm and Shooting

Accessibility: 10 features

Developer: Mad Fellows Games (@MadFellowsGames)

Players: This is a single player game

Aaero is a rhythm game where you control a spacecraft with on stick and target with the other. At times it's like flying an X-Wing on a trench run while at others it's like soaring high and free targetting enemies in a Starfox game. It's an on-rails...

Rock Band 4 (Series)

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Release Date: 06/10/2015, updated in 2021

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...

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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