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Groove Coaster Review

By , on August 1, 2011


Groove Coaster
Download on the AppStore
4 out of 5

PROS

  • Stunning wireframe visuals; camera slides around in three-dimensions to add further challenge.
  • Pick-up and play style; intuitive touch controls (tap, slide, etc.)
  • Catchy classic, remix and abstract electronic music to enjoy.
  • Unlockable avatars and visual themes.

CONS

  • Ad-lib system adds little depth; a shallow excuse to include IAP.
  • Abstract tracks/sounds made more distracting by adding effects based on your taps; poor tapping makes songs sound bad.

VERDICT

While it's not the first time we've seen this blending of visual style and rhythm-based gameplay, Groove Coaster is none-the-less a unique experience that constantly rewards players for delving in again and again.


  • Full Review
  • App Store Info
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The release of Space Invaders Infinity Gene by TAITO was a pleasant surprise a couple years ago, thanks mostly to its focus on 'evolution' - that is to say, the way in which the game modified based on how you played and the decisions made within the game itself. Much like Infinity Gene was a refreshing shift from the usual shoot'em-ups, Groove Coaster is a refreshing shift from the usual rhythm games.

With that said, it's far from unfamiliar. The usual concept of tapping away to an electronic track makes Groove Coaster easy to pick up, however its true magic lies in the way it presents the rhythm. An avatar slides along a singular track representing the thread of music you're listening to, with glowing orbs punctuating the track to let you know when to tap, hold, swipe or wiggle your way to more points. Ordinarily this would be tragically mundane, but the track and camera constantly shift in three-dimensions, creating visual illusions that work to trick you in to tapping too soon or too late as you whip around corners and spirals while heading in or out of the screen.

This does present some problems, notably with later levels that also introduce arrhythmic and abstract electronic tracks that are hard enough to follow with your ears, let alone with points of light flying around the screen while you zig-zag away from the camera. In order to offset this difficulty players are given multiple challenge levels (easy, normal and unlockable hard modes), avatars that provide special bonuses (unlockable through playing or purchasing) and paid-for items that lower the difficulty in a number of ways (converting misses to hits, showing 'ad-lib' nodes, etc.). Even still, it's not hard to feel like a few cheap tricks are used to make an otherwise simple track obscenely annoying.

Another aspect taken from Infinity Gene is its neon-flashing wireframe visuals that, when combined with the rhythm based gameplay, invokes shades of games like Rez. At times the game uses these visuals to add further complexity to a track (hiding your avatar behind white stripes in the background), but small touches like faint lines to indicate incoming beats can also help to keep you on track.

Despite its tricky visuals, Groove Coaster is ultimately a fairly simple rhythm game ('ad-libs' add some depth, but mostly related to memorization) and the novelty wears thin quickly if you've already played your fair-share of similar titles. What's likely to keep you hooked is the leveling system for unlocking additional features (subsequently making high-scores easier to obtain) and the catchy electro-beats. If this excites you, then definitely check out Groove Coaster.

Screenshots

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Comments

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kaorimaru 3 years ago

I can't help but notice that you never put up the reviews for king of fighters or deathsmiles. so what ratings would you give the two.
 

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triksR4rabits 3 years, 1 month ago

I agree with simonli, having a lot of fun with this; really love the music. One of the few gamed I can play with my girlfriend, definitely reccommend.
 
Great review as always Andrew, I can see it getting stale after ahile but i'm still lost in it

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simonli2575 3 years, 1 month ago

It's so F***ING GREAT!!!