A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
This game makes music and rhythm seem fun and natural. It also encourages kids to play together in groups of two, creating a fun social environment.
Positive Role Models
The actions of the mostly mute characters are cartoonish, unrealistic, and generally impossible to emulate in the real world. However, players may take cues on how to behave from the friends and family with whom they play the game.
Ease of Play
Most of the rhythm games here will be very challenging for younger players. Many may even prove difficult for grown-ups with plenty of music game experience. Most players will need to play through the practice session preceding each game to get a feel for its audio and visual cues. In some cases they’ll need to watch tutorial videos to figure out the exact tempo. Adding to the frustration, some games seem to allow more errors than others in achieving a passing grade. However, the game eventually offers players the ability to skip a challenge if they fail it enough times.
Violence & Scariness
One activity has players shooting spaceships and another involves slicing smoky, shade-like creatures with a sword, but the majority of activities have no violence at all.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Rhythm Heaven Fever is a collection of quick, music-themed mini-games that requires players to keep beats of varying speed and cadence. It may help foster an interest in music, and, particularly, rhythm. Parents of vision-impaired kids should note that many of the mini-games included are suitable for the blind and provide audio cues that will help sightless players perform as well as any sighted child. Note, though, that many of the activities are very challenging, even for older players with plenty of music game experience.
Is It Any Good?
This one’s a bit of an odd duck. Transforming a whacky activity like pilots playing badminton in the sky into a rhythm challenge that requires only a single button is downright brilliant. The game’s simplicity is inspired. When you’re in the zone it can be enormous fun, and satisfying in a way that only the best, purest game experiences are. Plus, the video game-y music is often wonderfully catchy. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself singing some of its simple ditties after a single session.
However, there’s one big hurdle keeping it from being a true standout: Difficulty. This seems like a game that should be great fun for the whole family, but its difficulty is tuned to older, hardcore gamers. Most younger kids (and even some grown-ups) will get fed up failing activities over and over again, unable to progress to the next game. Players ought to have been provided multiple difficulty levels. A scoring meter would help, too, so that players understand how their performance is being judged and can see how close (or far) they are from passing a challenge. There’s no denying that Rhythm Heaven Fever can be a lot of fun, but its prospective audience is much smaller than it could -- and should -- have been.
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Our Editors Recommend
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