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The Metronomicon: Slay the Dance Floor

Game review by
David Chapman, Common Sense Media
The Metronomicon: Slay the Dance Floor Game Poster Image
Rhythm-based adventure that's got a quirky beat.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Educational Value

Game teaches some music basics, including recognizing style and tempo, with action on-screen timed to beat of score. With such a heavy focus on music, inclusion of different genres, can encourage general music appreciation in players.

Positive Messages

Features usual "good vs. evil" conflicts, but also has strong themes of friendship, teamwork, helping others. Also a big focus on music, in a world where it's literally a magical force that can change the world.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Game's characters have a fair amount of personality, humor, but aren't really fleshed out otherwise. Motivations are relatively generic, with good guys being good, bad guys being bad simply because that's how they were designed.

Ease of Play

Unique mix of music, rhythm added to basic RPG elements makes for a formula that takes some getting used to. Hefty difference between playing on Easy, Hard difficulties. Still, once you find your groove, it never feels impossible to make progress.

Violence

Characters fight each other across the screen without any direct contact. There's no blood, gore during combat. Instead, damage shown with on-screen effects, flashes. Some deaths occur over the course of the story, but they're not explicitly shown on-screen.

Sex
Language
Consumerism

A few small music expansions available for purchase as downloadable content.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Metronomicon: Slay the Dance Floor is a downloadable rhythm-based role-playing game available for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. The game's mechanics require players to work on pattern recognition and musical tempo. The game includes themes of music appreciation, teamwork, and helping others. While there's a level of violence in the form of combat, it's extremely mild, with opposing sides attacking based on the beat of the music and never making any actual contact with each other.

User Reviews

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What's it about?

In the world of THE METRONOMICON: SLAY THE DANCE FLOOR, the people of Koras once lived a happy life, filled with peace and, most notably, quiet. That was before the party crashers. Literal dance parties began to fall from the sky, crashing into the land and filling the areas with neon lights, thumping beats, and a host of strange and destructive creatures just itching to get their groove on. After years of dealing with rampaging raves and nightmarish nightclubs, the people finally decided that enough was enough and it was time to fight music with music. They created The Neon Shield Academy for the Rhythmic Combat Arts, a school in which students were taught to harness the power of music to cast spells, stage impressive physical attacks, and look cool in the process. Players take control of the Academy's first graduating class and set out on a mission to not only drive back those dancing demons and funky fiends but also uncover the reason behind their on-tempo tantrums and shut their party down once and for all.

Is it any good?

A lot of games play like cover bands, copying a hit genre's formula with mixed results, but sometimes, one manages to pull off a rare remix that sticks in your head like a catchy pop tune. The Metronomicon: Slay the Dance Floor definitely falls into that latter category. The game deftly mashes up rhythm-based gameplay with classic RPG elements for a surprisingly fresh experience. Players string together directional cues to the beat of the music in order to build up and execute attacks. Longer combos equal more powerful attacks, but those attacks also leave characters exhausted for a short time and in need of a rest. This means players need to constantly switch out between party members in order to keep the flow of the action rolling. Admittedly, it's not the easiest game to learn right off the bat, but before long, it starts to feel almost like second nature.

While The Metronomicon is a game that moves to the beat of its own drum, there are still a couple of notes here and there that fall a bit flat. For example, the musical tempo isn't the only thing that's repetitive. Despite having multiple modes and stages, there's not a lot visually to differentiate one mode or area from another. At times, it feels like the party members aren't the only ones just going through the motions. Luckily, that's where the RPG elements come in, breaking up the monotony with story beats (as cheesy as the plot may be) and party management. Matching character strengths to enemy weaknesses, trying out new skills and spells, and mixing up the party members is like tuning an instrument, and when it all comes together, it's music to the player's ears.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about music. What are some ways we can use music to improve performance in our daily routines?

  • Talk about creativity and design. How does the game combine completely different genres in an effective way? What are some other ways to bring together different styles, genres, and activities?

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