iPhone App Review: SoundReaktor

iPhone App Review: SoundReaktor

August 6th, 2012 by

If you haven’t yet gotten addicted to a music rhythm game on your iOS device, maybe that’s because the games themselves are dependent on the music for their playability. If you don’t like the tunes, then you ain’t gonna like the games. SoundReaktor is a music rhythm game that features progressive house, dubstep, trance, electro house, drum ‘n bass and more from artists like Bingo Players, Hook N Sling, Mord Fustang, and several other artists that I don’t recognize but you probably do.

Tap pads in time to the music and help create the sound for the highest score, or play in Freestyle mode and just create music on the fly.

How It Works

SoundReaktor is basically just like any rhythm game in its gameplay: as the musical element approaches you see a timer building to maximum on the pad. Tap it at the right moment and you score, miss it and you don’t. The screen is filled with several pads that include elements like vocals, loops, and sounds that fill out and create each song. The app comes with 6 free “beatpacks”, with several more available within the app and more being added each week.

To play you simply select your beatpack and then watch the progress bars fill up, tapping in time to the beat. There are three modes of difficulty, with the higher levels including more musical elements that need to be tapped simultaneously (the higher levels really need to be played with the phone sitting in your lap or on a flat surface… you’ll never tap three pads at once with the phone held in your hands).

Pros and Cons

Any rhythm game is dependent on the music, and the music in this game does not disappoint. If you’re a fan of electronic music then you’ll definitely love playing along to the beats, and if you’re not then you might want to give this app a try anyway. Tapping along to Mord Fustang makes you feel instantly cooler than jittering your fingers around to the latest Katy Perry tune or whatever. The music is fun and addictive, and sounds intense and enveloping when you listen with a good set of headphones.

The gameplay itself runs the gamut from “fun and involving” to “insane and impossible” depending on which level of difficulty you choose. One thing this game does NOT include which I think is a great choice is the negative feedback when you miss the timing on a button. Other rhythm games feature the audience booing, the music skipping, and other negative rewards to let you know how poorly you’re doing, adding to the overall stress level in what is supposed to be a fun game (though some might say that avoiding negative reactions is itself part of the fun, and I would have to agree). In SoundReaktor you don’t have to worry: if you miss a beat you just enjoy the music and move on, but your score obviously will suffer.

Freestyle mode is a fun and stress-free way to explore the music without the pressure of scores and timing, so you can get a feel for the music before you jump in and play the real game. You can also of course download new tunes once you get sick of the beatpacks that shipped with the game.

Overall

SoundReaktor is a fun alternative to the typical “top-40” music rhythm game that is very popular in the App Store. It features new and exciting music that has depth and complexity not available in most rhythm games, and has a gameplay mechanic that is different from the others yet is still just as intuitive. It’s available as a Universal app for iPhone and iPad for $2.99.

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