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Review: Riddim Ribbon

February 16, 2010


Riddim Ribbon is the newest game from Tapulous who has brought us the Tap Tap Revenge series. This game diverts from the traditional tapping series to an accelerometer based game. You control a wheel, and you try to ride the glowing line in the road like a grove in a record. The main feature of the game is the ability to choose a different path when forks in the road appear, and that changes the music with a new remix. When you go off the groove the music is consequently degraded. The game ships with three Black Eyed Peas' songs, with multiple avenues to play.


The three Black Eyed Peas songs are Meet Me Halfway, Boom Boom Pow, and I Gotta Feeling. Also there are two songs from Tiesto, and a song from Benny Benassi. Each song has three difficulties, with each new one unlocked by completing the previous one with at least 80% accuracy. As you're racing on the ribbon you try to collect pebbles (the orbs you tap on in Tap Tap), and shake your phone forward to jump. Basic online high scores are included showing the top 10, and your ranking.

The Good

Tapulous has done a great job in moving on from the simplistic tap mechanic, to a whole new music game. It's a brand new experience driving the train of the melody staying on the groove, and changing the remix depending on your path choices. This game is truly a unique mock up of DJ Hero and driving games. You create your own mix of three famous Black Eyed Peas' songs by simply driving a wheel, and it's quite an experience. As you're rolling along there are ramps to take to jump through hoops, and manual jumps to collect rings. The actual driving, jumping mechanic is really fun, and if there were more songs this would be a really good game. The production values are simply amazing as seen by the glowing groover, and neon wheel. The backgrounds are simply stunning looking, like the new itunes visualizer, or having images of the Black Eyed Peas. As you're accelerating there are nice particle effects kicking up as the wheel rolls, collecting pebbles, or hitting hazards. One problem with the Tap Tap series compared to Rock Band is that the tune doesn't change when you make a mistake. Riddim Ribbon on the other hand changes the quality of the track if you're off the center groover, and cuts out completely on hitting a hazard. It's a nice included feature, but it's quite sensitive.

The Bad

The biggest problem is that there are only three songs for $2.99, and they're only the Black Eyed Peas. Not many songs, and no variety leaves the game too simplistic at this point. Also despite each song having three difficulties, it's still the same road. To play through a song takes seemingly forever, and most of the time it’s just techno beats based on the current BEP song. The three well known songs are completely different no matter what path you choose, and you feel like your butchering them no matter what. While racing along when you come to a fork their are two choices of remixes, and only two choices. Of course you can mix them, but it’s only two takes on the songs, and you’re never truly doing anything unique. When you jump onto gold bands on a higher road, it’s worth more points, but it really kills any vibe of the song, and you prefer not to take that path just because it’s so terrible to listen to. With the length of the rides, the new remixed song is nearly excruciating near the end, and there are only three songs too, making it that much worse. If the remix wasn’t bad enough, there is a voice over with horribly annoying sayings interrupting the music. A man pipes in with “checkpoint coming up” or “that was dope” or “that was ill.” The controls aren’t the best either, and just aren’t nearly as precise as they need to be to do well. Another problem is that after completing a track with your unique path choices, you can't do anything with it. Originally the game was hyped to include an export feature to have others listen to your unique remix. In the final version there's nothing even remotely like that, and in fact the game is simplistic in all social features. The online high scores are as basic as can be, and there's nothing even close to everything included in Tap Tap Revenge 3. The in app purchase songs are way too expensive, and are just relatively unknown techno songs. These songs were more fun, and flowed better, but they were just so unfamiliar, and relatively similar. Then to charge extra just seems terrible.

The Verdict

Riddim Ribbon is an ambitious and unique take on the music genre, but comes up short. The biggest downfall is the inclusion of only three songs, and then the method of gameplay destroys those songs. The remix is actually annoying, and you only have a choice of two pre-made remixes. All of the social features that make the tap tap series great are sadly lacking in Riddim Ribbon. It's a huge disappointment that has fun driving gameplay, but makes the music a pain to listen to. Riddim Ribbon is not worth $2.99.

Mentioned apps

Tap Tap Revenge 3
Tap Tap Revenge 3
Tapulous, Inc.

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