Reader Review: Rhythm Heaven

Do you have what it takes to get a review published right here on Kotaku? Cameron does, as he totally taps Rhythm Heaven on the DS.

Yes, that’s right, we’re now publishing reader reviews here on Kotaku. This is your chance to deliver sensible game purchasing advice to the rest of the Kotaku community.

This review was submitted by Cameron Chu. If you’ve played Rhythm Heaven, why don’t you let Cameron know whether you agree or disagree with his thoughts.

Rhythm Heaven (DS)

Don't be fooled by its cutesy presentation; Nintendo have made one devilishly difficult game for the Nintendo DS. Sequel to Rhythm Tengoku, Rhythm Heaven takes its rhythm inspired game-play on to the touch screen where you flick and tap your way through a multitude of mini-games.

Loved Mini-games: Despite only using two controls of tapping and flicking and the whole game revolved around mini-games, they are varied and creative enough such that the game does not feel repetitive and are immensely fun to play. Music complements this variety with styles ranging from jazz to j-pop, preventing the game from becoming dull. The mini-games are also well paced, with remixes combining several mini-games together that will keep you on your toes.

Presentation: The graphics, while minimalistic work well with the game as it doesn't detract attention from players as they play through mini-games that require almost complete attention to pass. Comprising of crisp, colourful animations, the presentation of the visuals in fact immerses a player deeper in to the game as it helps capture the feel of the beat and rhythm as it moves in sync with the music.


Lack of support: As with all music games, Rhythm Heaven inherently relies on players to have a musical understanding to be able to play varying rhythms at changing speeds and complexities in order to enjoy the game to its fullest. Those who are unable to will find this game overly difficult as the marking criteria is ridiculously harsh, where just a few mistakes will lead to a fail. What makes it frustrating though is that the game provides little support, such as oh so useful in-game hints which appear when you fail like “You were as good as... a plate of nothing but garnish”... not very funny if you fail the same mini-game over and over, is it?

Enjoyment from Rhythm Heaven largely depends on how quick you are able to understand its rhythmic intricacies, as those who can will be able to seamlessly flow from one mini-game to another filled with addictive goodness. Those who can't however will struggle to pass, and with the lack of any useful advice, will instead be in for one frustrating experience.

Reviewed by: Cameron Chu

You can have your Reader Review published on Kotaku. Send your review to us at the usual address. Make sure it’s written in the same format as above and in under 300 words - yes, we've upped the word limit. We’ll publish the best ones we get.


    I love this game. I really didn't think I would but it grew on my very quickly. I agree, it can be difficult and unhelpful. It would have been made so much better if it had a larger array of finishing ranks other than 'Try Again', 'Just OK' (pass), 'SUPURB!', And I presume 'PERFECT' but I haven't got one of them yet.

    Nintendo makes games too easy!

    Nintendo makes game too hard!


    Play the game with headphones, concentrate and it's not too difficult. Don't people enjoy a challenge anymore.

    Nintendo marketing this as a Touch Generation game though was a mistake, it requires persistence. This aint no Brain Training!

    So you've upped the word limit to 300 now. That's handy.


    i hadn't played rhythm heaven at all until now and it's pretty fun.

    not fucking awesome as people say but yea pretty fun

    Seem to have forgotten the horrific nature of the songs with lyrics.


    Haha thanks for upping the word limit, I don't think I could of done it in 200 words >.>

    I find that it wasn't the fact that it was hard, but that they didn't give players a choice in choosing the difficulty. Given it was aimed towards a younger audience seeing as it was advertised in the Touch Generation market, this really made Rhythm Heaven not a problem of difficulty but an issue of accessibility.

    I didn't think the lyrics were *that* bad, they were more childish which I thought suited the game. The voicing was pretty bad though..

    Something I forgot to mention was that it is fairly cheap with an RRP of $49.95, which is pretty decent value.

    you do know that if you fail a minigame so many times that the cafe icon starts to flash, if you go in the bartender asks if you want to skip the minigame >.>

      Yeah you can, but why would you? The last group of minigames are just harder versions of the ones before; if you skip the easy ones how will you be able finish the newer ones? Also, how do you think a player would find it enjoyable when the only way they could get all the mini-games was by failing them all?

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