Neon FM is an EDM-packed arcade rhythm game that's so good Konami made its own version, but finding an arcade to play it in can be kind of tricky. Fortunately it's now also a free-to-play mobile game for iOS and Android, which sure beats spending $US8,000 ($10,670) on an arcade cabinet.
In many ways the Neon FM arcade game feels like a mobile rhythm tapping game in a cabinet, though the project began back in 2005, years before games like Tap Tap Revenge made their way to phones and tablets. Notes descend on a three or five lane track in time with the music. Players must hit them in time in order to score points and keep combos going. It's pretty basic stuff, but it's so good.
Replacing physical buttons with virtual ones, Neon FM for iOS and Android is essentially the arcade game, only with virtual currency instead of quarters. It's got the same 100+ songs, with new tracks regularly added to both versions simultaneously. Even better, the mobile version features a set of free play songs that rotate in and out on a weekly basis.
Each song features a wide range of difficulty levels, from three lanes with simple notes on up to complete five-lane insanity. Rather than having players fail if they do poorly at a chosen difficulty, the game will swap down to the next lower tier if things are going badly.
In the video atop this post I play a couple of tunes at a very low difficulty level. Here's someone else playing much better than I can:
One of the coolest features of Neon FM on mobile is one I couldn't test: players on mobile devices can sync up with the arcade version for cross-platform competition. I have played against some very good mobile players via the game's online multiplayer, but I have yet to experience the joy of jacking into an arcade cabinet. One day.
Should you play Neon FM? How do you feel about electronic dance music? Me, I'm not a huge fan, but mainly because I have no idea where to start. Not only has this game given me several place to look for new tunes, the handy genre labels have helped me narrow down what I like. And if you're not sure about EDM, what the hell, it's free.