By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)
Rhythm games are a dime a dozen, and not even Guitar Hero stands out as iconic. The game doesn’t replicate the feel of truly playing that stringed instrument. Somehow, the brand persevered before its eventual decline and reinvention in the virtual reality environment. Beat Saber is king for a reason, and since then, no other release has unseated its position.
The rock band Queen is attempting to break that and their own take, Rock Tour, a mobile game featuring a catalogue of the best hits, isn’t a game changer. Nimble fingered players can tap to “We Will Rock You” and other songs. After achieving a certain level of skill in select songs, other tunes can be unlocked, and the list of albums only go up to A Kind of Magic. Also, archival material and assorted trivia about this group become available. Most of this added media are recognizable, and can be found in print or online elsewhere. So far, I have not found anything new, and I don’t recommend this game to anyone who has been a long time Queen fan.
I’d rather wait for a new publication about the history of this band than play this game to learn about.
The avatars used in this game are inspired by the Funko Pop line of toys, and the range of animations involving them is limited. As much as I’d like to see this mini-Freddie strutting his stuff on stage, it would ultimately distract from monitoring when to hit the notes as they move close to the sync bar (where you have to tap).
How these songs (and most other games in this genre) are translated into patterns is a mystery. They are not based on any sheet music I know. The game is challenging by changing up who is leading the song when players have to tap the screen. Any imprecise action will cause the song to “hiccup.” Freddie won’t belt out a complete song phrase or Brian can be heard missing a note. Plus, the game makes its own squelch and awkward song pause whenever this happens.
I was using an iPad to play this game. Anyone expecting to become a pro on an average sized smartphone will find the experience tough. It’s manageable with a mid-sized unit, but for those with thick fingers, progressing through the levels to unlock new content is still tough. Maybe I’ll stick to my piano lessons instead.
2½ Stars out of 5