Deemo Review

By , on November 20, 2013

Download on the AppStore
5 out of 5


  • A selection of beautiful compositions which meld brilliantly with the gameplay.
  • Handsome visuals and moody audio creates an haunting, ethereal atmosphere
  • Offers a real challenge for those who want it.


  • The 'how to play' tutorial screen before every song hangs around a bit too long.


Though the genre may be out of fashion at the moment, Deemo's gorgeous soundtrack and haunting visuals reminds us why we fell in love with rhythm-music games in the first place.

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It's been a while since gamers fell out of love with rhythm games. This was mostly due to the over-saturation of rock music sims driven by plastic guitars, but also because of lack of creativity in the games themselves.

Deemo does its best to address these issues by not only providing feedback as you tap and slide, but also presenting a fantasy through the melding of music and haunting artwork.

The story, such as it is, tells the melancholic tale of a lonely creature who finds the company of a mysterious young girl. With the child at your side, you play through numerous piano-based compositions.

The line at the bottom of the screen simulates the piano keys, and as the lines descend, you tap them in time with the backing music. Your piano rings out on each successive note. After the first few pieces, single notes give way to double notes and slides. Often, you will have to use two fingers to cover the spread, and there will be sections where you must tap with one finger while sliding another finger back and forth.

Like most rhythm games, when everything is going right, the you fall into a trance state, inputting taps in harmony with the soundtrack.

There are three difficulty modes available, as well as the option to adjust the speed at which the notes descend. There's a substantial increase in toughness between easy and hard mode, giving you plenty of incentive to revisit perfected songs and try to master the expert setting.

Of course, special mention must be made of the soundtrack. The pieces are largely classical, but there are tracks with lyrics, most of which come from the lounge or J-pop genres. Tracks such as 'Wings of Piano' and 'Jumpy Star' are standouts, with their catchy melodies worming their way into our ears. The art design fits in with the moody, haunting soundtrack, with both the song images and cutscenes conveying a kind of sweet sadness.

This stylised marriage of audio and visual content Deemo is more than just a rhythm game. It uses its multi-tap input to create greater immersion, and merges sight and sound to tell a story very different from your standard 'be the best band in the world' scenario. If you enjoy your rhythm games, you owe it to yourself to try Deemo. The music may not be as heavy as players are used to, but the game is no less powerful for it.


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