If there’s one stark contrast that we’d have to point out with regards to the console vs the smartphone gaming world, it would certainly have to be the sheer amount of diversity you’ll find for smartphone titles. It doesn’t matter what genre you enjoy, there’s always a plethora of titles out there to savor your desires, and once you’re done with one there are plenty more to discover.
One genre in particular that always seems to have a lot of content is the music rhythm genre, where every game is filled with a long list of tracks that you can play along to, and go at your own pace. Unlike other titles where a great deal of investment is needed to really get your money’s worth, the rhythm game genre is one where you can truly go at your own pace since the music selection will always be there. Content is very easy to unlock and should you have the urge to spend a few extra dollars on that hot track, then the option is there. This brings us to our review which looks at the latest music rhythm title from indie developer Peropero Games, and publisher X.D. Network. Both of these companies are situated in China, a country where just as of late has really taken the gaming world by storm, introducing to the world that China’s talents go far beyond expectations.
Anyone who’s looking for a very cutesy anime artstyle, combined with a magnificent assortment of music ranging from vocaloid, rock, C-Pop and even J-pop, Muse Dash is the right title for you.
What to Expect
What really makes Muse Dash stand out from the rest is mostly due to its terrific artstyle and just how vibrant all the colors pop on your smartphone screen. You become so immersed in the world around you that sometimes you forget you’re playing a rhythm game. There are a large number of music tracks that are readily available once you start up the game, and as you score high on the rankings, you’ll unlock more tracks as you move forward. Most tracks will unlock after every 2 levels so for example, the next song to unlock after level 4 will be level 6. This means that in order to unlock that track, you’ll need to spend a lot of time playing through all of the other tracks on both their easy and hard difficulties. We’ll go more into difficulties later in the review but for now, Muse Dash is all about keeping up with the beat and making sure that you defeat the enemies that float across the screen. What makes Muse Dash so unique is that unlike in most other music rhythm games where you need to tap let’s say an icon on screen, you need to successfully tap or “kill” the enemies that pop up on screen. They all pop up synced to the rhythm and so it’s your job to eliminate them while staying on the course.
You start off with one character and as you progress through the game, you’ll gather collectibles which will allow you to unlock other cute anime style characters, all of whom come with their own respective buffs. For example, some characters will provide an HP boost if you successfully land combos, while others have more random buffs that may come in handy for certain scenarios. Each character comes equipped with their own personality as well so we really encourage you to get to know them all! As a note, we’re currently playing on the final test build of the game so what you’ll receive is everything we’ve played but more! So get ready for all the rhythm fun!
Before we go into detail about the gameplay, which really isn’t all that difficult to grasp, we thought it would be best to enlighten new players who are picking up the genre for the first time. Musical rhythm games are titles that test your abilities in variety of ways, one being audible while the other requires strong hand-eye coordination. When starting out in any rhythm game most players will most likely fail because they haven’t synced their hearing with their fingers enough to truly grasp everything in real time. The great thing about Muse Dash is that it gives you a nice brief tutorial on how to properly play so that your experience going forward won’t be as intimidating, and more focused on the actual fun factor. Once you’ve started to get a hang of everything, that’s where Muse Dash starts to become an incredibly charming and addictive experience, since every music track is not only satisfying to listen to but equally exciting to play. Playing the game requires that you wear headphones to get the best experience and we certainly agree since you really get to hear the bass, tempo, and chords for each track. Some songs are really uptempo while others have a more softer approach and don’t require you to exert too much focus. That’s the beauty of Muse Dash because there’s just so many tracks to choose from and unlock that your ears are just tingling with excitement every time.
You never really know what to experience once you jump in, but once the music starts playing and the enemies start to pan across the screen, that’s when your brain turns on and you’re all in. Music rhythm games really require complete immersion because the moment you take your eyes off the enemy or your mind doses off for one second, your rhythm starts to suffer and your score plummets. Unlike in other games where you can sort of “turn off” your brain and go on relax mode, Muse Dash requires that you stay alert at all times especially if your aim is to unlock more music to play. Its vibrant and eclectic use of colors really absorb you even more into the game, as your eyes just become glued to the environment. You start off with easy and hard modes then once you’ve reached the requirements of each song you’ll unlock the master mode, which is definitely a challenge indeed but is certainly doable with enough practice. You’ll be running through songs more then once to really get the rhythm down and once you pick up on the flow running through master difficulty starts to become a little easier. Not super easy but you’ll most definitely find yourself hitting more notes than the first few times of you attempting it.
Honey's Gameplay Consensus:
In the end, Muse Dash is an incredibly fun game with an enormous amount of content that will most likely keep you engaging for a great deal of time. Its price point is retailed at $3USD so you’re getting a bang for your buck by investing in this one. Not only that but it seems that the team is more than willing to continue adding more content in the game perhaps down the road, so once again there’s a lot of value in picking this one up. Not much else to say other than just keep practicing and collecting as many items as possible, so that you can enjoy the game with all of the other characters! At the moment, there’s currently no online features, but we imagine that sometime down the road, there may be a global high score ranking implemented just to provide incentive for players who want that competitive feel. There’s also a Nintendo Switch and Steam version coming down the pipeline so be sure to keep an eye out for those, as they’re slated for a Q3 release! Oh did we mention the game comes with Chinese, Japanese and English voice overs? We didn't? Well, now you know!
Beautifully designed characters and animation is smooth!
Incredibly artistic game.
Great details to the environment.
Large assortment of music to listen and play to.
No online features at the moment.
Honey's Final Verdict:
Muse Dash is a must have music rhythm game for anyone looking for their rhythm game fix, or for those who just want to tackle something new on their smartphone. It’s a game that can be played at any time and doesn’t take up much of your smartphone space which is a plus too! Be sure to show some love to both X.D. Network and Peropero Games by purchasing the game and helping the indie scene out! Follow us on Twitter to stay up to date on all the latest gaming news as well as anime, and of course, hit us up on Twitch to catch us playing all these awesome games live!
As always, for all things sweet, with news straight from Japan, be sure to keep it locked here on Honey’s Anime.
Author: Rob "NualphaJPN" B.
A passionate fan of gaming, writing, journalism, anime, and philosophy. I've lived in Japan for many years and consider this place to be my permanent home. I love to travel around Japan and learn about the history and culture! Leave a comment if you enjoy my articles and watch me play on twitch.tv/honeysgaming ! Take care!