Anyone who's ever been to an arcade knows the heart pounding beats and brights lights of Dance Dance Revolution. Players "dance" while following the arrows that fly up the screen, prompting you to hit them in time with the rhythm of the song. While DDR is extremely popular, and probably the most recognized among general audiences, rhythm games have been around since the 70's. From PaRappa the Rapper to Vib Ribbon there's a rhythm game out there for everyone from those picking up a controller the first time to those who spent their weekends mastering advanced songs. This is for you.
1. Distortions (PC)
Created by Among Giants, the musically driven Distortions feels like something out of a Haiyo Miyazaki movie. You awake in a strange world without your memories, and will have to use notes from an unknown journal to piece together your past. While the world is as strange as the masked creatures who inhabit it, you can use the music from your violin to shape the world around you. This game's purpose is as beautiful as its environment, focusing on overcoming past experiences and hardships. Green-lit by the Steam community, this game will be available earlier in 2018.
If you like this play What Remains of Edith Finch, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of TIme, or Bound.
2. Thumper (PC, Xbox One, PS4, Nintendo Switch)
Thumper takes musical games to an extreme in this "rhythm violence" game created by Drool. Putting you at the controls of a beetle, a space beetle that is, this game is great for multi-taskers. Avoiding obstacles, jumping over deadly spikes, and defeating enemies all while hitting notes that are timed with the music will either melt you brain or be one hell of drug as you speed through tunnels of light that can only be compared to Space Mountain.
If you like this play Rez, Audiosurf, or Amplitude.
3. Ode (PC)
An unexpected but adorable new indie, Ubisoft let's players control a fallen star named Joy in Ode. The conductor of your own experience, the game allows you to explore four worlds and create music by interacting with world around you. With no marketing efforts at all, this game comes the team behind Grow Home, Reflection studio. If you're looking for a more casual gaming experience or just looking to de-stress at the end of the day, than this journey is definitely for you.
If you like this you play Journey, Flower, or Abzu.
4. Crypt of the NecroDancer (iOS, Android, PC, Mac, Xbox One, PS4, Nintendo Switch)
Brace Yourself Games indie, Crypt of the NecroDancer, burst onto the scene when it first came out in 2015. Gracefully merging the rhythm and dungeon crawler genres, this 8-bit adventure stars Cadence, who is on a search for her heart that was stolen by the NecroDancer. She must dance through the crypt, fighting monsters and dancing to the NecroDancer's music, in order to get back her heart and save her father.
If you like this play Dharma, Beatbuddy: Tale of the Guardians, or Rhythm Heaven Fever. .
5. Deemo (iOS, Android, PS Vita, Nintendo Switch)
An indie rhythm title from Rayark Inc., Deemo follows the adventures of a young girl name Alice who has fallen through a trapdoor into the world of Deemo and the Masked Lady. Together, Deemo and Alice must play music in order to grow a tree that will allow Alice to return to her world. A score-based game, this title closely follows the DDR format as players hit notes on the "piano," which is a line at the bottom of the screen. Players must hit the correct spot on the line in time to the music in order to receive the highest score. Paired with stunning water color-esque graphics, Deemo's story is as heart warming and catchy as the music in each level, which was a collaborative effort including artists from Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, including the Final Fantasy cover band Earthbound Papas.
If you like this play Voez, Cytus, or Show By Rock!!