Parents' Guide to

Rhythm Heaven

By Harold Goldberg, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 8+

Rhythm game so unforgiving that it's frustrating, not fun.

Game Nintendo DS 2009
Rhythm Heaven Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this game.

Community Reviews

age 9+

Based on 5 parent reviews

age 8+

CSM's review is very poor. Don't listen to it.

This DS game is nothing short of a masterpiece. 50 back-to-back catchy, colorful, and engaging rhythm games to hone your skills at, alongside a very innovative, simplistic control scheme make it accessible for players of all ages. There's no violence, language, drugs or anything like that, so I'm not sure why it has a high "consumerism" rating on CSM. As for the featured review, I'd like to ask Harold... - Why would the "rhythmically challenged" play a game called Rhythm Heaven? - How is the game "almost a failure" just because you're bad at it? Games are allowed to be hard. (But even then, I wouldn't call a lot of the minigames in RH "hard"!) - You know the rhythm minigames scale up their challenge as you get further into the game, right? That way, there's no need for dedicated difficulty settings. Doesn't seem like you even tried to beat it before posting that it's "unfair" or "overly challenging". (It's not! Whole thing is 100% fair). - And finally, the other characters looking annoyed at you when you miss a beat may be grating, but it encourages you to play better, and I'd argue it adds to the game's charm. All in all, this game is one of the best in the DS' library, but Harold's review of it is one of the worst things I've ever read.

This title has:

Easy to play/use
age 10+

It's not "unforgiving;" it's CHALLENGING! And FUN! :D

I love this game so much! It really gets you into keeping in time with music. I think it's even safe to say this can be a "edutainment" game when it comes to music! The animation is unique and colorful, the songs are catchy (oh, BTW, 95% of them are love songs, so keep that in mind), controls are easy once you get the hang of them... thus I believe a measley 1-star rating for this game isn't a good enough rating. 5 stars for fun and kid-friendliness! :D

This title has:

Easy to play/use

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (5 ):
Kids say (14 ):

There's no reason to beat around the bush. While Rhythm Heaven has a charming minimalist art style, it's a royal pain to get exactly right, even with practice, even in the first levels. You might say, well, this is not a game for the rhythmically challenged. But it may not even be a game for those who are schooled in dance or in rhythm instruments like bass or drums.

You have to be so achingly accurate in the game, you'll rarely get the medals that are achievements for getting high scores. Plus, when you're off rhythm, your cohorts onscreen shoot you a dirty look. While this is at first hilarious, it begins to grate on you because the game is so difficult. Plus, content is locked until you pass a certain level of accuracy, which for some can be a game-stopping road block. If Nintendo had just provided modes like easy, hard, and superhard, Rhythm Heaven would have been a lot easier to like. As it stands, it's nearly a failure.

Game Details

  • Platform: Nintendo DS
  • Available online?: Not available online
  • Publisher: Nintendo
  • Release date: April 5, 2009
  • Genre: Music & Dance
  • ESRB rating: E for Comic Mischief
  • Last updated: November 5, 2015

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