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 interest 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.
Platforms: iOS Apple Arcade
Genres: Action, Creative, Puzzle and Rhythm
Duration: Between 5 minutes and 10 minutes to play a round.
Players: This is a single player game.
Costs: Purchase cost.
This is a game about fishing and music. You drop your line into the water, catch a fish and make music along the way. There are different animal DJ's to choose, each with a different sound and 21 different underwater courses to fish in.
Platforms: Mac, Nintendo Switch and PC
Genres: Action, Narrative, Rhythm and Simulation
Skate Story is a skateboarding game that focuses on the skill, weight and locomotion of controlling the board. Running through the game is a story where you explore the underworld beneath New York City.
Genres: Action, Creative, Narrative, Racing, Rhythm and Sports
Duration: Between 3 minutes and 5 minutes to play a round.
Players: You can play with 2 players in the same room, but you can’t play it online.
This is a rhythm game where you press buttons in time with the music to score points. It sounds simple, but similar to games like Guitar Hero, it soon gets more complex. Unusually the rhythm play has a futuristic racing story.
Disney Fantasia: Music Evolved
Platforms: Xbox 360 and Xbox One
Genres: Action, Physically Active and Rhythm
Duration: Between 8 hours and 12 hours to complete.
Costs: Purchase cost. In-game purchases.
Fantasia is an Xbox Kinect camera dancing game using your whole body. Its narrative follows Disney’s Fantasia film as you take a musical journey to earn your sorcerer’s hat. Sweeping your arms to trigger the orchestra, pointing out high notes with...
Platforms: Nintendo Wii and Nintendo Wii U
Genres: Action, Narrative and Rhythm
Duration: Between 3 hours and 4 hours to complete.
Players: You can play with 4 players in the same room, but you can’t play it online.
This is a game on the Wii about catching. It's created by Prope, who made the Sonic the Hedgehog games. You use the Wii Remote controller to motion a catch or a throw to a player in the game. The challenge is to learn how to press the button just right...
Duration: Between 5 minutes and 1 hour to play a round.
Wii Fit is a collection of games designed to help you exercise. They use the Wii Balance Board peripheral that works with both Wii Fit on the Wii and Wii Fit Plus on the Wii U. The Balance Board measures the pressure you place on it and enables a range...
Platforms: Mac, Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One
Genres: Puzzle and Rhythm
Duration: Between 5 minutes and 15 minutes to play a round.
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.
Platforms: Android, Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Portable, Xbox One and iOS
Genres: Creative, Puzzle and Rhythm
Lumines is a music puzzle game where you rotate and align small blocks to form squares of a single colour. As you do this, in time with the music, they are erased as the beat line passes over them. The game is lost when the blocks reach the top of the...
Platforms: Android, Nintendo Switch, Nintendo Wii, Nintendo Wii U, PC, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Web Browser, Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox One and iOS
Genres: Physically Active and Rhythm
Duration: Between 2 minutes and 6 minutes to play a round.
Players: You can play with 6 players in the same room and up to 64 players online.
Costs: Free-to-start. Season pass and in-game purchases.
Dancing in front of each other isn’t something we often do in families. Just Dance is released with new songs and features each year. It gets parents, carers, children and even grandparents off the couch and dancing along with the on-screen moves....
Cadence of Hyrule
Platforms: Nintendo Switch
Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting, Rhythm and Turn-Based
Duration: Between 6 hours and 8 hours to complete.
Costs: Purchase cost. Season pass and in-game purchases.
Cadence of Hyrule is a Zelda infused version of a popular rhythm action indie game called Crypt of the NecroDancer. Like the original you go on an adventure viewed from above and progressed by moving, attacking and dodging in time with the music.
Jump Rope Challenge
Genres: Action and Rhythm
Duration: Between 5 minutes and 10 minutes to complete.
Jump Rope Challenge is a virtual skipping game were 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.
Street Power Football
Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One
Genres: Action, Rhythm, Simulation and Sports
Duration: Between 5 minutes and 20 minutes to complete.
Players: You can play with 4 players in the same room and up to 4 players online.
Street Power Football (Street Power Soccer) is a rhythm and timing game where you compete in a range of competitions that require timing, quick reactions and finesse. Some of these are a pure rhythm action or aiming challenge while others offer a full...
Pianista: The Legendary Virtuoso
Platforms: Android, Nintendo Switch and iOS
Genres: Action, Puzzle and Rhythm
Duration: Between 3 minutes and 4 minutes to play a round.
Costs: Free-to-start. In-game purchases.
Pianista: The Legendary Virtuoso is a rhythm game where you play classical piano music by pressing buttons in time with each note. This starts easily buy builds up so you are playing complex pieces of music from a range of composers.
Platforms: Nintendo Switch and iOS Apple Arcade
Genres: Action, Platform and Rhythm
Fledgeling Heroes is a fun flying game where you tap or press to guide a part through landscapes and collect coins. You can swim, sprint and soar, defeat dastardly dragons, unlock wondrous new worlds, and explore limitless levels in the Lab.
Child of Eden
Platforms: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Xbox One
Genres: Action, Physically Active, Rhythm and Shooting
Duration: Between 4 hours and 5 hours to complete.
Child of Eden is a dance and motion game that uses the Xbox Kinect camera. You use your body to shoot and move. Rather than fruit, however, here it’s beautiful firework-style visuals and music that are the challenge.
Platforms: Android, Mac, PC, Xbox One and iOS
Genres: Action, Adventure, Creative, Fighting, Platform, Puzzle, Rhythm, Role-Playing and Strategy
Duration: Between 5 minutes and half an hour to play a round.
Players: This is a single player game. You can play with up to 100 players online.
In this game, amateur game-makers create simple online games that often mimic real-world grown-up scenarios, like working in a pizza restaurant, surviving natural disasters, escaping prison, scuba diving or playing hide-and-seek. The library of games is...
Platforms: Mac, Nintendo Switch, PC and PlayStation 4
Duration: Between 10 hours and 12 hours to complete.
You play a bard on a quest to gather parts of a song. Uniquely, you interact with the environment and inhabitants by singing. Controlled by one of the direction sticks, you can access different notes on the coloured ‘Song Wheel’. This unusual way of...
Platforms: PlayStation Portable and PlayStation Vita
Genres: Action, Fighting and Rhythm
Duration: Between 15 hours and 24 hours to complete.
Patapon and its sequels take rhythmic button-pressing in a real-time battle direction. You assemble a stylized army and then take your troops to battle by tapping buttons in time with the rhythm. How well you press the buttons in time with the music...
Platforms: Nintendo 2DS/3DS, Nintendo DS, Nintendo Wii and Nintendo Wii U
Genres: Action, Platform, Puzzle, Rhythm and Shooting
Players: You can play with 5 players in the same room, but you can’t play it online.
Games don’t get any sillier than the WarioWare series. Each of its mini-games presents a basic yet peculiar challenge for the player. A simple scene appears on the screen with a one-word clue about what to do. In the few seconds of the countdown you...
Game & Wario
Platforms: Nintendo Wii U
Game & Wario is a series of small games designed for families to enjoy. Like NintendoLand it shows off the different sorts of game you can play on the Wii U not possible on other systems. Because of this the quality and depth...
Elite Beat Agents
Platforms: Nintendo DS
Genres: Narrative and Rhythm
Duration: Between 4 hours and 6 hours to complete.
This simple rhythm game requires you to tap the screen in time with the music to advance a story. Each song matches the pictorial narrative that intersperses each verse: getting a pregnant woman to the hospital; materialising a Christmas gift to a...
Sayonara Wild Hearts
Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 and iOS Apple Arcade
Duration: Between 1 hour and 2 hours to complete.
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...
Rhythm Thief and The Emperor's Treasure
Platforms: Nintendo 2DS/3DS and iOS
Genres: Narrative, Puzzle and Rhythm
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...
PaRappa the Rapper
Platforms: PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Portable
Duration: Between 2 hours and 4 hours to complete.
PaRappa the Rapper is a bizarre rhythm game where you play a paper-thin rapping dog trying to win the heart of a flower-faced girl. You do this by pressing buttons to rap in time with the music to impress her. It creates a silly yet endearing game about...
Platforms: Mac, PC, PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita
Genres: Action, Fighting, Rhythm and Shooting
Players: You can play with 2 players in the same room and up to 2 players online.
Nidhogg is a fast two-player duelling game whose simple visuals belie the skill required to defeat your opponent. The novelty is that upon death you reappear in the next screen. The player to advance through the most screens wins.
Way Of The Passive Fist
Platforms: Mac, Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One
Way Of The Passive Fist is a fighting game where you parry, dodge, dash and counter-attack to outwit and outlast your enemies rather than kill them.
Players: You can play this with 12 players online.
Fuser is a rhythm game where you are a DJ at a large concert. You can combine four songs from a list of records. Each of the records has four tracks represented by colours and instruments: drums, guitar or vocals. You build up an evolving mix of music...