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Comic Fiesta ’17: Rhythm Doctor Is A Deceptively Hard Rhythm Game
Games can now come many ranges of difficulty, but what if some of them appears simpler than it may seem? That’s what indie developed Rhythm Doctor is doing. On paper it sounds like the simplest rhythm game ever, but it has more tricks at its sleeve.
Found at MDEC’s booth in Comic Fiesta 2017, it’s hard to miss this one as it is being played on a large screen usually with a large crowd huddling in front of it. The premise is simple, hit the triggers at each of the 7th beat in the music. But as you progress the whole thing seems off.
The game is not bugged, but it intentionally glitches out from time to time. Sometimes it obscures the visual hints. Sometimes it messes up the audio. It’s a brilliant design choice, rhythm games have made more and more complex button presses and cluttered note highways to ramp up difficulty, but this game goes the other way by making the gameplay simple but all the visual cues are a mess.
You need to be a human metronome to keep up with the beat and win those boss fights. It’s a clever twist in rhythm game design.
— Rhythm Doctor (@RhythmDrGame) December 17, 2017
As far as the presentation goes, it looks good. Rhythm Doctor uses the 2D pixel art style and 8-bit sounding songs for its aesthetic which is done well. The demo at Comic Fiesta was running on a PC, which managed to plug in a Nintendo Switch joycon for controllers, handy as the game supports 2 players co-op.
The game is developed by the aptly named 7th Beat Games, a Malaysian indie development team with one of its members based in Peru. So far the game has collected accolades including being a finalist in this year’s Indiecade.
You can try out a demo of the game available on itch.io here.