Music games have somewhat found itself in a sort of renaissance through recent titles. The genre has gone past most of the usual rhythm game stylings that had been established since the late 90′s and then oversaturated by those that made use of plastic analogues for musical instruments. New releases have now introduced more innovation through features and melding with other genres. But with Deemo, it’s more like a return to basics in a good way.
Deemo by Rayark Games is a rhythm game with simple visuals, but also with new features that bring new life to the genre for mobile gamers. It merely does better than the rest and adds a bit of what’s essentially its own. Rayark had previously released a game called Cytus, which is another rhythm game that follows the style of Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan and Elite Beat Agents (a free-to-play osu! is available for the PC). Deemo follows more of the style that Guitar Hero popularized, but does not need a plastic guitar to play.
There’s actually a bit of a story to this game, surprisingly enough. It’s about a little girl and her exploits with Deemo, a lonely and mysterious creature who finds solace in her love for music. This is a game that the musically-minded mobile gamer can appreciate, even though it’s doing nothing really new. Beyond its aesthetic simplicity, this game is a feast for the senses, matching good music with complimentary visuals. The soundtrack is filled with soothing aural bits that are enough to buy this game for, even if you aren’t as enthusiastic about the gameplay.
For those who do like rhythm games though, they’ll find this to be a challenge for even the most veteran of music gamers. The tracks are piano pieces that suit the shiny-looking interface with the glowing black bars falling down with the music, then you get a combo meter that you’d want to keep going. It’s the classic rhythm game livery that most are used to, divided into three difficulty settings and with a speed adjustment to suit you just fine. In between each song, you get a score screen with nice artwork and tells you that you’re “All Charming” if you did not miss a beat, which can only be achieved if you can hit every multi-tap that the song throws at you.
This game plays quite well and there aren’t a lot of issues with this game other than minor ones.Perhaps you may think the tutorial screens before each song tend to linger a bit too long, which can be a bit annoying for the impatient and the impertinent. However, the haunting sounds should soon soothe your sensibilities, and just about everything else in this game is in the right place, with the sum of all its parts making for a well-balanced package. Those who have played it laud it with praise or at least appreciate its content, even if they can’t play music games.
If you like good combination of visual and sound design in games, then this should be in your iPhone or iPad to show that you like good music with your gameplay. Deemo has the elements that made rhythm games a thing in the market in the first place, even though the genre is not as hot as it used to be these days.
Tested in iOS. Final Score: 8.5/10