Rhythm Heaven

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

What parents need to know

Positive messages
Not applicable
Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Not applicable

This game is featured in a TV commercial showing Beyonce, one of the world's most talented superstars, playing it.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this is a game that will frustrate those who aren't blessed with rhythm, very precise rhythm. That's most of us.The game is being promoted by Beyonce in a TV commercial.

What's it about?

Nintendo has made some wonderful and laugh-out-loud funny minigame offerings for the DS, but this isn't one of them. In Rhythm Heaven, you climb the ladder to sheer heights of rhythm stardom by completing over 50 short, music-based little games, all of which are challenging, to say the least.

Playing the game is so simple a five year old could work the mechanics with ease. As you hold the DS vertically like a book, all you have do is tap the touch screen with your stylus in rhythm to the music or voices. Sometimes, you have to keep your stylus on the screen and flick it to put something together or to hit something. Immediately when the game begins, you're also asked if you're right or left handed, a very handy tool because you're about to play the most rhythmically precise and difficult game of your life.

Is it any good?


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.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about rhythm. Do you like rhythm in music, poetry, or dancing? Where else does rhythm come into to play? What could Nintendo have done to make this rhythm game better?

Game details

Platforms:Nintendo DS
Available online?Not available online
Release date:April 5, 2009
Genre:Music and Dance
ESRB rating:E for Comic Mischief (Nintendo DS)

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  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
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  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Adult Written byGooberri00 July 3, 2015
age 9+

Good, but frustrating

Good game but very very diffiuclt
What other families should know
Great role models
Easy to play/use
Teen, 13 years old Written byNicktheminigiant March 12, 2015
age 6+

There is violence, but very little.

One activity involves shooting spaceships, and another involves slicing watermelons, fish, and the occasional... thing? (P.S. I haven't played it yet, but when I do, I will change this from 5 stars to whatever I think is appropriate.)
Kid, 11 years old October 2, 2011
age 5+

Frustrating AND Fun

This game is awesome. I have unlocked all the minigames, Improved my rhythm (Although I already had rhythm), and have had a ton of fun. This game isn't violent, but it made violent (You can see black spots from where I'v punched my DS. Although frustration is PART of the game). I still love this game, even though the "try again" message is anoying, but after three tries, if I don't get it, I go to the cafe to skip it. Also the songs range greatly in genre and are ALL catchy and good. All in all, this is the best DS game ever.
What other families should know
Educational value
Too much violence


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