Groove Coaster ($0.99) by TAITO Corporation reinvigorates the music and rhythm game genre on iOS.
Yep, this is another music game, but believe me -- it isn't a Tap Tap Revenge. This game far surpasses that average and boring (compared to this) music game that's been around for ages. It's time for something new, and this is definitely the one to get.
Groove Coaster features your own "groove-filled roller coaster," in which you grow by clearing currently available songs. In each song, you tap to the rhythm with one finger, so it's very simple when compared to other music games.
You start in the beginning of your groove coaster with one song. As you tap at the correct notes, you will fill up the groove meter at the top. This meter needs to meet a certain threshold before you can officially clear the song and unlock the next track. If you fail to meet the groove meter threshold, you will have to try again.
As you progress in the game, songs will require you to tap-and-hold at certain points, scratch, and even flick in a certain direction. It gets harder, but is still simple by being done with just a single finger on the screen.
The more you play, the more stuff you will unlock. Avatars represent the character that you're playing, and each one will have their own abilities that can help you during the game. Such abilities include lessening the groove meter requirement by 10 percent, making the timing to get a "Good" note less strict, and more.
Items can also be obtained and used once to help you clear a stage or increase your score, though you will have to use these wisely (don't waste them!). Skins are also obtained throughout the game and will change the appearance of the track when you play a song.
For each song, you are given a grade based on your performance (for both cleared and failed songs). There are six in total: S, A, B, C, D, and E (with S being the highest, and fairly hard to get). If you do well enough, you will unlock the "Hard" difficulty on the played track (assuming you play on Normal difficulty first). Replays can be viewed too, so if you did really well, make sure you watch the replay in action!
If the tracks that come with the game aren't enough for you, then there are a couple that you can add to your groove roller coaster via in-app purchases. The same goes for avatars and items as well.
I enjoyed all of the music so far in the game, and there is a wide spectrum found in Groove Coaster -- from rock to hip hop to techno -- that you'll end up appreciating. The way the track moves in each song is a visual treat, and definitely draws you in.
Nothing is so perfect that it can't be complained about, however. On some tracks, I found the bright background colors combined with the colorful "explosion" when you get a streak going to make it hard to see when you have to tap on notes. But this is just a minor setback.
At the end of the day, if you're looking for a music game to tap along to whenever you have some down time, then definitely pick up Groove Coaster. It's a universal app on sale for a dollar for a limited time, so pick it up before it's too late!
Finally, it's time to retire that other music game on your iDevice and bring some life back into this once-stale game genre.