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iPhone App Video Review: Cytus

by Andrew Koziara

Cytus is a new music and rhythm game from Rayark Inc. Rather than trying to cram some pre-existing music game onto the iPhone, this one was built from the ground up to be played with a touch screen. It offers beautiful minimalist design and aesthetics, a great selection of songs, and is generally just a fun experience for music game veterans and novices alike. However, it does have its fair share of questionable design choices and flaws.

If I had to compare this game to existing music games, I’d say it’s a cross between the excellent Elite Beat Agents on the Nintendo DS and the mega popular Dance Dance Revolution franchise. The gameplay is very similar to Elite Beat Agents, while the soundtrack consists of the same kind of electronic music and J-pop that you’d find in a DDR playlist. Don’t dismiss the game if that kind of music isn’t your style, though. You’re still probably going to have a lot of fun with the gameplay.

As with Elite Beat Agents, music notes will appear on the screen, and you’ll have to tap them in accordance with a scanning bar that constantly scrolls up and down the screen. You also have buttons that must be held for a certain amount of time; and others that move along a pre-set path, asking you to follow along with your finger. The margin for error is rather high, and it seems a little bit too easy to get a perfect hit rather than a good or bad one. There is also no way to fail out of songs midway through them. You are graded in the end, and you’ll need high marks to unlock new songs as well as more difficult versions of songs, but there’s no indication of how well you’re really doing as you play.

There are no modes in this game to speak of. After you do the tutorial, you’re just dropped into a scrolling song list, and as you play, that list gets longer and longer. Luckily, there are Game Center leaderboards to help keep things competitive. The minimalist interface and gorgeous hand drawn art style really make this game stand out, and the soundtrack is pretty diverse and excellent. Obviously, your love of the music will be much more subjective than anything else. Hopefully more songs can be added in future updates. This game is iOS Universal and it’ll only cost you two dollars. If you’re a fan of music and rhythm games, I highly recommend you give this one a shot. It’s not as hardcore and challenging as most games in the genre, but it’s still beautifully done.

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