Rhythm and music games can be quite addicting. I’ve spent many night playing Rock Band with friends. But sometimes, on the go, you don’t really have the set up for a game like Guitar Hero. If you want a music-based game that’s simple to play on your iPhone, one game that’s worth checking out is Symphonica, a tap-based rhythm game developed by SquareEnix.
What is it and what does it do
Symphonica is a musical conducting game. As the music plays, you must tap, glide, and slide your fingers across the screen to conduct the music.
- Challenging controls
- Great soundtrack (including tons of classical favorites)
- Fascinating world/setting
- Great character design (a strength of all SquareEnix games, after all)
- Engaging story with interesting characters
- You can play for free for the first four chapters. Cost to unlock full game is a bit steep
- Doesn’t take as long as I would like to beat the whole game, but at least there is some replay value
The controls revolve around either one-finger or two-finger gestures. These include tapping, holding, creating arcs with one’s fingertips, flciking, or making pinching gestures. You can make these gestures pretty much anywhere on the screen, and in any orientation.
You play as Takt, a novice conductor with hopes of one day conducting an orchestra in the renowned King Hall. Einsatz, the city of music, is the setting for this music-centric game. Takt is put in charge of the Fayharmonic, an orchestra on the verge of collapse. It is up to you to take the orchestra to the very top!
The Square team is really good at building interesting, fantastical worlds, and Symphonica is no exception. The world really draws you in, but as with a lot of SquareEnix’s more recent titles for mobile, the world feels a bit superficial at times. The characters are interesting, but they lack some of the emotional resonance of classic Square RPG titles.
Now, since this is a SquareEnix game, it’s a bit pricey compared to normal App Store fare. If you’re a SquareEnix fanboy, then you’re probably okay will paying a premium price for this type of game. Chapter 0 (the tutorial level and game intro) is free, as are Chapters 1 to 3.
After that, however, you’ll have to start paying to unlock the rest of the levels. Unlocking the whole game plus bonus episodes will set you back $14.99 (you’re getting 12 chapters at that price.) I think that price is a bit high, personally, even though I really liked the game. I’d advise you to download the game, play the first few free chapters, and then wait for Square to have a sale and get the paid levels at a discount. Could be a long wait, though.
Conclusion and download link
If you love music games or are a hardcore SquareEnix fan, this game is bound to please. The controls are simple, yet challenging to execute. The story is enjoyable, but the price for the full game seems a bit high, especially given the short play time. Overall, this is an intriguing game.
Price: Free (for chapters 0 to 3)
Version reviewed: 1.2.1
Supported OS: Requires iOS 5.0 or later
Download size: 331 MB