Even though these games don’t have rhythm, they don’t miss a beat.
Since video games first became popular, music has been a big part of their stories, whether it’s the happy tunes in Super Mario Bros. or the sad atmosphere in The Last of Us. This has even led to a whole genre of games called “rhythm games,” where you have to hit buttons or pads in time with the music.
Games like Guitar Hero, Dance Dance Revolution, and Crypt of the Necrodancer have made a name for themselves, but there are a lot of other games that use music in new and interesting ways as part of the gameplay. So let’s look at the best music games that aren’t rhythm games.
De Blob is a puzzle-platformer game that was first made for the Nintendo Wii. It is about a ball of water named, you guessed it, De Blob. Its goal is to gather different kinds of paint so that Chroma City can have color again after the INKT Corporation made everything black and white and banned color.
As you color every building, object, and person in the city, cool synthesizer sounds, guitar riffs, and rhythmic drum beats start to come through. It’s surprisingly interesting, and people liked it enough that it came out again on the Nintendo Switch in 2018.
Sound Shapes is a side-scrolling platformer where you collect coins to add to the music as you go through the level. It’s pretty easy, but the great level art and music by Jim Guthrie, Deadmau5, and Beck, as well as the game’s creators, make up for it.
The user-made content was what made Sound Shapes so interesting. You could use the musical coins you got in the main 8 Ball Pool game to make your own levels and share them online. This was especially easy to do on the PlayStation Vita, since you could place items by touching the screen. The online server was shut down in 2018, which was a shame. Here’s hoping that a new version or something similar comes out soon!
In the 1990s, point-and-click adventure games made by LucasArts, which is now called Lucasfilm Games, were very popular. These were often funny, and you had to move your mouse around the screen to interact with the characters, the environment, and the things you found along the way.
Most people have heard of games like Maniac Mansion and Monkey Island, but Loom was a great game that didn’t get enough attention. Loom was a fantasy game with a more serious tone. It added “drafts,” which were four-note spells you could use to change the area around you. What’s really interesting is that when some spells are played backwards, they have the opposite effect. For instance, the spell “dye” changes to “bleach.” It’s a unique choice that makes Loom stand out from other adventure games from that time.
Symphony And Beat Hazard
Most games that involve music are based on the songs that come with the game. This isn’t the case with Symphony and Beat Hazard, two shooters where the way enemies move and the environment changes based on the music you play.
Even though both games are fast-paced shooters, they are different enough to be worth talking about. Beat Hazard is a shooter that is played from the top down, while Symphony is played from behind the ship. On top of that, Symphony has more neon colors and a more stylized look, while Beat Hazard tends to be more traditional sci-fi. Either way, if you want challenging shoot-em-ups that use your own music, you can’t go wrong.
People who play traditional RPGs often make fun of the bard class. There’s a guy with a lute who wants to make friends with everyone and sing his heart out in a world full of powerful spellcasters and big barbarians. Well, Wandersong takes that bard and turns them into the person who saves the world.
The story of Wandersong is about a bard who, with the help of a witch named Miriam, tries to save the world with his music. The gameplay reflects this by having the bard use chords and scales to decipher clues and advance through the world. When you add a cute look, you have everything you need for a good time.
REZ was made by Tetsuya Misuguchi, who also made the Space Channel 5 Series. It is about a hacker who is trying to get rid of the viruses and infected firewall that are affecting Eden, the main computer. Some of the most beautiful graphics in games from the early 2000s come from games with a tech theme.
REZ is a music-based shooter game like Symphony and Beat Hazard. This time, it keeps you on track. All of the game’s actions and projectiles, as well as the vibration of the controller, are timed to the music. This creates a sense of synesthesia. Even though the critics liked the game, it didn’t sell well at first. Luckily, REZ Infinite for VR gave it a second chance. And it even led to a fake sequel called Child of Eden. All of these are great and worth the time you spend on them.
Frederic Chopin is thought to be one of the best classical composers and pianists of all time. However, he was sick and in bad health for most of his life. Even so, he wrote and played beautiful pieces that are both haunting and romantic. He died of tuberculosis when he was only 39 years old, in 1849. Eternal Sonata is a JRPG set in a world that Chopin dreamed about hours before he died.
Even though this idea may seem strange, it leads to a beautiful, rural world where Chopin’s music can be heard everywhere, including in the names, themes, and, of course, the score. Eternal Sonata is a great RPG with some interesting twists on the usual battle system. But the world based on Chopin’s music is by far the best part.
Tetsuya Mizuguchi agrees that music can be used in puzzle games in interesting ways. Mizuguchi had worked on many music games, like REZ, and wanted to make a Tetris-like game with a lot of music in it, but he couldn’t get the rights to do so at the time. Instead, he and the rest of the Q Entertainment team made their own puzzle series called Lumines.
In Lumines, you drop squares made up of four different colors of blocks to make blocks of the same color. As you do this, a line that moves across the screen to the beat of the music gets rid of these blocks. Lumines is one of the best puzzle games of all time. It has great techno music and even licensed tracks in later games in the series.
It seems like every music-based video game gets its ideas from either traditional music or techno. Tim Schafer noticed this while he was making Monkey Island and came up with the idea for a game set in the fantasy world seen on the covers of heavy metal albums. After 15 years, Brutal Legend came into being.
Brutal Legend’s presentation stands out among its third-person action-adventure and real-time strategy components. It has great world-building, great music, and amazing performances by heavy metal legends like Jack Black and many others. If you liked Psychonauts or games that let you take risks, you should play Brutal Legend.
Tetris is known for its simple rules and catchy tune. But the series has needed a visual update for a while. Even though there have been different attempts with varying degrees of success. No Tetris game has been as popular as Tetris Effect.
Tetris Effect is named after the psychological effect that happens when people play the game for a long time: they start to see Tetrominos in real life. The game tries to combine that effect with synesthesia by giving you great music and visuals that change depending on where you are in the game. If this sounds like what Tetsuya Mizuguchi wanted to do with Lumines at first, you would be right. So, it makes sense that he is one of the people who made the game. Tetsuya Mizuguchi is the best music game designer of all time. And Tetris Effect is the best music game ever made.