Mar 27, 2017
I feel sorry for game designers sometimes. It can feel like every ‘type’ of game has been made already – just how do you come up with something people have never seen before? One easy way to do this is to simply combine already popular ideas together.
So this is Akihabara – Feel the Rhythm – it’s combination of Tetris, Connect 4 and a rhythm game. This means that blocks fall from the top of the screen and land at the bottom. The blocks are different colours, so you naturally need to have 4 of the same type touching each other to ‘clear’ them and get points. The rhythm-wrinkle comes from you being able to alter the colour of falling blocks by tapping the screen at the right moment.
This is because as with all good rhythm games you have a line travelling from left to right and it’s moving in time to the beat. Each beat of the song you’re hearing is timed so that the line transitions from one block to the next. To get a high score and a multiplier built up, you need to time your colour-swapping screen taps in time to the music.
It’s a nice idea and one that had me interested to play Akihabara – Feel the Rhythm in the first place. Sadly the rhythm aspect of the game doesn’t really matter, so it kind of falls flat as a rhythm game. You’ll never ‘fail’ a level because you’re tapping out of time.
Then it’s sad to say that the Tetris / Connect 4 elements doesn’t work too well either as there’s no sense of danger when blocks are falling. This is because all blocks are the same shape, they’re just squares. Also, each time you tap the screen you can see what colour you’ll be swapping a descending block for. There’s no randomness to the blocks falling or to the order of which new colour is being inserted into the falling block.
It means the game’s not a challenge in terms of puzzling and it doesn’t really care if you can keep a beat either. So you’re left with falling blocks that you can easily change the colour of and all you need to do is group 4 of them together.
It’s a shame because the idea’s a good one, the music’s nice and the controls work well for what they are. It’s just that there’s no excitement to playing the game and when all you’ve got is a ‘campaign’ which is more of a battle of endurance than skill, it kind of stops being fun.
Akihabara – Feel the Rhythm sits in a bizarre no-man’s land of genres. It’s a solid idea that’s lacking in its execution and won’t grab you like a good puzzle game needs to and it won’t challenge you like a good rhythm game needs to.