A remarkable rhythm game with a touching story to tell

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There are plenty of rhythm games that offer story snippets between tempo-matching finger tapping episodes. The haunting Demo is the first one I’ve played that lets the music tell the story.

It’s not quite like any rhythm game I’ve played before, and I’ve played more than my fair share. The genre is one of my passions. As a music lover, I have always wanted to play music, but I lack the discipline to learn. Playing with music is the best thing to do.

One of my favorite mobile rhythm games is Cytus, an incredibly sleek offering from developer Rayark. This is one of the first games I install on any android Where iOS device that I buy. When I found out the developer released a new game earlier this month, I gladly applied my $1.99 to their supply. It was not at all what I expected.

I imagined another set of songs with a stylish background and a new way to play – the screenshots looked like Radius DJMAX, another one of my favorites. When the music plays and the fingers clap, it sounds a lot like that popular title – almost like I’m playing a piano.

But treatises for the most part at the piano of Demo are more than just a place to score points. Each track reveals a small side of the game’s story. It’s the story of an obscure creature, the eponymous Deemo, sitting alone in his castle, playing the piano.

The opening songs are vaporous, ethereal and decidedly rhythmic. Deemo is alone. Deemo is alone.

Then one day a strange young girl falls from the sky into her world. Immediately the songs start to light up. They first talk about her adventurous spirit, which led her to this strange place. Happiness grows with the couple’s blossoming relationship.

But there is darkness at the end of the tunnel. Every time Deemo plays his piano, a tree reaching to the heavens – and his new friend’s freedom – grows. He doesn’t want her to leave. The songs become tense, darker.

It is the rhythm game equivalent of musical theatre. It’s just awesome.

With a story spanning a wide range of emotions, DemoThe soundtrack is a glorious mix of genres, from classic instrumental to hip-hop, from light and airy pop to guitar-driven metal. There are 28 songs in all, with 84 variations, with three difficulty levels capable of turning even the simplest song into a finger-twisting nightmare.

I never imagined a rhythm game could look like Demo. It really is something special. Demo is currently available on iOS. Hopefully it makes its way to Android and beyond – anyone who cares the least about the genre needs to play it.

Demo

Genre: Scripted Piano Rhythm Game

Developer: Rayark

Platform: iOS

Price: $1.99 (additional song packs $3.99)

Get Deemo on iTunes

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