A Rhythm Genre Revival?

I’ve always had a thing for music games.

In a previous startup, a million years ago, I designed and launched a visual mixing game with the Ministry of Sound. I loved Rock Band and Guitar Hero. And my kids have epic Just Dance battles. I also had a soft spot for Elite Beat Agents on the DS — tapping to the beat is deceptively fun.

So this week when I saw Audioshield launch on Steam with a 97% rating, it made me wish the Rift we’d ordered wasn’t just delayed to June. Audioshield is a VR game that gives the player two shields to block incoming beats, similar to the way chords appear in Guitar Hero.

My friend and client Rob Winkler, CEO of 5th Planet Games, said, “Audioshieldis my new cardio routine. I can’t lift my arms above my head, but I am getting better at it!”

Music as a gameplay element is still surprisingly underutilized. Could Audioshield be the first of a rhythm genre revival on VR?


Compulsion Loop
Compulsion Loop #23: Rhythm Game Revival: Music as a Game Mechanic banner



Why Play? Focused on making health-conscious games, Fourdesire released this app to gamify iOS activity tracking with cute sci-fi visuals using the metaphor of a rocket ship that’s powered by tracking your steps in the real world. It was named a “Best of 2014” by Apple and now includes Apple Watch integration.

App Store
Compulsion Loop #23: Rhythm Game Revival: Music as a Game Mechanic banner


Spry Fox

Why Play? If the likes of Clash Royale hasn’t convinced you of the Power of Collecting Cute Things, take a look at Alphabear from Spry Fox. Its Scrabble-like gameplay is driven by the compulsion to acquire adorable teddy bears with pun-tacular names like Fore Bear and Santa Claws.

Google Play App Store
Compulsion Loop #23: Rhythm Game Revival: Music as a Game Mechanic banner

Disney Crossy Road


Why Play? Sometimes a game releases that just makes perfect sense. The popular Crossy Road (and endless Frogger-style game) is made 100%  better by including over 100 Disney characters from 9 different properties, real sounds from the Disneyland theme parks, and unique level mechanics that fit the iconic characters.

Google Play App Store
Compulsion Loop #23: Rhythm Game Revival: Music as a Game Mechanic banner

Flipped Out – The Powerpuff Girls Game

Cartoon Network

Why Play? Don’t dismiss this as just another Match-3 puzzler; Flipped Out is doing some truly unique things with a dual gameplay mode that changes seamlessly from a Match-3 to a Brawler depending on the iPhone’s orientation. Even the match mode is doing some new and fun innovations, such as allowing 8-way swiping to destroy enemies in an action-oriented style.

App Store
Compulsion Loop

CompulsionLoop is AC+A’s (adriancrook.com) weekly pursuit of providing a Featured List for those in the games industry. A look at the latest must-play apps, along with short, useful takeaways from our team of game design and product experts. If you have a game that you think your industry colleagues should try, we’d love to hear about it at games@compulsionloop.com. Don’t forget to tell us why industry insiders should be compelled to try out the game (see what we did there?).

Know a game that you think others should play? Let us know and tell us why we should play it.

Thank you for reading and we look forward to helping you discover more games that you can glean learnings from. Feel free to reply to this email or contact games@compulsionloop.com — we’re always happy to hear from you.

Have a great week!

- Adrian Crook www.adriancrook.com