Welcome back to yet another weekend here at the Weekend Games Corner. In between doing irrelevant things like eating and sleeping, we like to play games. Lots of them. The last few years have been good to gamers. You don’t even need a high-end console to play quality video games any more. There’s plenty of entertaining stuff on Android, iOS, and Flash. It’s not Mass Effect, but it’s damn good.
This week is all about music. We picked three of our favorite games that tap along to the beat. They lean toward techno and electronica. If you hate those genres, go ahead and skip this week. We don’t blame you. You will miss some cool games, though. Just look at what we found this week.
Concept: Cytus is reminiscent of the old Dance Dance Revolution games. You tap your way through catchy J-pop songs to earn high scores. The developers promise an update with a story mode… but it’s a music game.
Gameplay: A black bar bounces back and forth across the screen. Small notes things pop up. You tap the notes when the bar passes overtop them. It’s a unique concept and makes for interesting gameplay.
There are three different kinds of notes: taps, holds, and drags. Taps are by far the most common, although the other two increase in frequency as the songs get more complicated.
The music is… reminiscent of DDR. It’s loud, catchy, and Japanese. It’s not bad, although some variety would have been nice. Guitar Hero proved that other genres can work in a music game.
Cost: Cytus features in-app advertising. There are also countdowns before each song for people who don’t buy the app. Think Megaupload. It’s annoying.
There’s also an interesting twist on unlockable content. When 100,000 players buy the game, 10 free songs are unlocked. This scheme has a ways to go, though, as the current count is at about 100,000.
Verdict: Although the pre-song countdowns are annoying, Cytus is fun. The tapping rhythm action is fun. It’s even better if you’re into J-pop.
Concept: You are a camera strapped to the bumper of a high-tech rocket flying through a tunnel. It’s trippy as hell.
Gameplay: By rotating the device, you maneuver the rocket thing around the tunnel. This is necessary to dodge obstacles and collect gems. Gems increase your score multiplier. Hitting walls resets it to zero.
There are three modes. Blitz is a score attack within a time limit. Mixtape is a score attack over a set course with unlimited time. You can import your own music for Mixtape mode, which is cool. Pick carefully, though, not every song works.
The stock soundtrack features music by Finnish artist Kitkaliitto. The music isn’t bad, but it’s certainly not the best techno I’ve ever heard.
Cost: You can purchase optional pre-game power-ups. These help but are not essential. There is also minor in-app advertising.
The Legend of Korra: Republic City Run (Flash)
Concept: No, this isn’t a music game. Yes, we know. We’re suckers for The Legend of Korra, the single best show on television last year. It masterfully straddled appealing to children and adults and made one hell of a show.
Republic City Run is a licensed Flash game based on the show. You play as the Avatar autorunning through waves of Equalists. Points are awarded for distance.
The game is an official Nickelodeon creation. This brings a level of detail to the games that fans will appreciate. Small touches like a “chi meter” bring a level of authenticity.
Gameplay: Republic City Run is your standard autorunning game made easier by Korra’s bending powers. She can fire elemental blasts at bad guys to clear them from her way.
As she runs further, the bad guys increase in size and health. The game is fast and frantic, just like a good autorunning game should be.
The only irritance was a persistent laggy jump button. Korra jumps a full half-second after you press it. Considering how many bad guys appear later in the game, it became easier to not jump at all.
Cost: Nickelodeon’s advertising around the game.
Verdict: Republic City Run isn’t necessarily better than other autorunning games, but fans might like the chance to fight Equalists themselves.