Pulse : Volume One

App review by
Mark Raby, Common Sense Media
Pulse : Volume One App Poster Image
Very difficult but brilliantly designed music rhythm game.

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Ease of Play

Do not mistake this game for a standard rhythm-matching music game. This one takes the standard gameplay of tapping notes at the right time and adds the very difficult element of tracking the notes as they circle around the screen. It requires a very strict attention to detail and strong hand-eye coordination skills to be able to master this game. Players who do not have experience with music rhythm games will find this to be a highly difficult entry to the genre.

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What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Pulse: Volume One is a music/rhythm game that can get extremely frenetic and fast-paced. The game requires players to tap on the screen in the beat of background music, but they have to tap on specific orbs representing each note. These orbs circle around rings on the screen, and players have to watch as the rings illuminate to figure out when to actually tap the orbs. It gets even more challenging when multiple orbs appear on the screen at the same time, requiring players to use both their hands simultaneously in this extreme brain exercise. All the songs are instrumental so there are no issues with lyrics, and no other questionable content appears in the game. Parents need to know that this game is very challenging and is designed for players who already have experience playing other music games.

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Is it any good?

PULSE: VOLUME ONE is a great example of a game that gets extremely difficult as players progress, but it does so in a way that is addicting and encourages players to focus harder and stronger. Most music/rhythm games require a static frame of attention. That is, the only thing players need to focus on is the beat, and as long as they press the correct button at the correct time, they'll succeed. Here, it becomes a much more full-sensory experience, as players need to not only listen to the beats but also have to keep a keen eye on where the corresponding notes are on the screen, so the auditory, visual, and kinesthetic senses all come into play. It may be a bit too overwhelming for players who don't have strong hand-eye coordination yet, or don't have enough experience with music or music games to understand the concept of a song's meter or beat. For those who want to take on the challenge, though, this game is a fun ride.

App details

  • Device: iPad
  • Price: $4.99
  • Release date: May 5, 2011
  • Category: Music Games
  • Publisher: Cipher Prime Studios
  • Version: 1.0.0
  • Minimum software requirements: iOS 4.2 or later
  • Last updated: August 25, 2016

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