It doesn’t matter if you can’t tell a crisp note from a crooked one, because at the end of the day — we’re all rhythm masters in training when it comes to video games. Thanks to developers pushing the boat out with innovative designs and cramming in as many advanced tools a mere few gigabytes can fathom, we too can assume the persona of a musical guru and enjoy the wondrous sensations that come with it.
Whether you’re heavily focused on your folk sound or just looking to dabble in the arts as a whole, chances are there’ll be a video game with all the necessary soundboards to light your muse and produce a stellar track. Of course, nothing happens overnight, and stacking up a few dozen hours in-game isn’t all that uncommon when making music, either. But we all have to start somewhere, right? Just use these five platforms as stepping stones en route to a much, much bigger stage.
From the makers of Dance Central and Rock Band comes Fuser, a next-level rhythm game that will have you serving up monstrous beats to festival grounds with hundreds of thousands of adoring fans swooning over your every session. Of course, to make it to that awe-inspiring headliner position on the roster, you’ll first have to work your way up from rock bottom. That means you’ll have to find a sound that best suits your persona, pick a style that represents your brand, and basically grind out enough BPM to keep the crowds funding your exploits.
From Basement Jaxx to Billie Eilish, Rage Against the Machine to Rick Astley, Fuser puts a serious amount of effort into assembling an almighty soundtrack that refuses to hone in on a single genre. So, taking that into account, there’s no real reason to give this one a miss. It’s button mashing fun in its rawest possible format, plain and simple.
4. Let’s Sing 2021
Seeing as we’re gearing up for Let’s Sing 2022, which is scheduled to release next month — it seems only right that we shed a little a light on Voxler’s current titleholder, Let’s Sing 2021. And as much as I’d honestly love to push Let’s Sing Queen into the spotlight in a bid to overshadow the former, Let’s Sing 2021 does single-handedly envelope the sensations that coincide with performing to an adoring audience. And the fact that you can embrace those sensations from the comfort of your own home truly is a fantastic thing. Not for your neighbours, perhaps. But you know — swings and roundabouts.
If you enjoyed the SingStar entries that captivated the world way back when, then you’ll definitely enjoy spending some time with Let’s Sing 2021. It’s a spiritual successor that takes all the iconic ingredients from London Studios’ palette and amplifies them in a whole new light, with an updated soundtrack to keep it fresh, relevant and, above all — entertaining.
3. Avicii Invector
There’s no denying the fact that Avicii was hands down one of the greatest progressive house and dance artists of the last generation, with tracks that have quite simply gone on to inspire a close-knit community to branch out and employ exciting new sounds and otherworldly beats. And it’s because of the sheer brilliance of the Swedish DJ, that a video game in his memory was only expected by millions of adoring fans across the globe.
Avicii Invector is a rhythm-action game in which you flow through the life of the music legend, chaining from one celebrated track to the next on a quest to accumulate as many points as possible. With 25 hits making up for a lengthy “pulse-pounding” experience, filled with all the joy and jubilation one could ever hope for, Avicii Invector truly is a beautiful and well--deserved tribute to one of music’s most respected musicians in the industry.
2. Kingdom Hearts: Melody of Memory
Square Enix has had its fair share of complaints over the years for Kingdom Hearts, mainly due to the complexity of the narrative and confusing crossovers that, at times, don’t make a lick of sense. And to add to that reputation that the franchise had built for itself, Square Enix thought it would be wise to go and make a rhythm-based game for the fun of it. Does it add to the overall structure of the ongoing plotline? Who knows. Maybe.
Kingdom Hearts: Melody of Memory transports you to the inner nexus of the musical world, where rhythm and combat go hand in hand over an enormous catalogue of tracks from the entire series. From fast-paced power ballads to mellowed ocean vibes, Melody of Memory does a pretty remarkable job at conjuring a vast collection of sounds where no two notes are the same. So, Kingdom Hearts fan or not — Melody of Memory is definitely an essential buy for any rhythm game fanatic.
1. The Artful Escape
I’ll be the first to put my hand up and say that The Artful Escape is an incredibly unusual video game — even to today’s standards. And that’s saying something, considering the number of innovative designs and outlandish works of art there are out there. But setting those aside for a moment, nothing made me feel quite as flamboyant as Beethoven & Dinosaur’s psychedelic platformer. It just had this, I don’t know — oomph that very few other games have been able to locate.
It’s no easy task, explaining the premise of The Artful Escape, though it is best described as a mind-boggling voyage through a series of dimensions built on neon lights and classic 80s power ballads. In fact, it basically forces the two down your throat from the moment you pick up the pad. And while not rhythm-based exactly, it does use the power of face-melting guitar solos as its primary focus. All you need to do is tap a button, bust out some otherworldly chords, and glide endlessly through the unknown in a bid to unearth your true inner musician. Simple.