The first I heard of it was last week at GDC. Walking past the IGF booth, I saw a guy with headphones on, bobbing his head while mashing a huge button. Curious, I walked over. I saw an on-screen cardiograph and a little samurai bobbing its little head. I was hooked from there.
Rhythm Doctor is a rhythm game by Hafiz Azman and Winston Lee. Their game was an IGF 2014 Student Competition Entrant this year, and I'm glad for that, because now I'm obsessed with it, and will be actively tracking it.
Being a rhythm game aficionado, I stepped up to the controls with perhaps too much confidence. A game inspired by one of my favorites, Rhythm Heaven? One where you only have to press a single button on the seventh beat? I've got this, I thought.
Nope. This game is hard. If your rhythm isn't spot on, you're going to fail. And even if it is, the game is throwing every obstacle in the book at you to throw you off. A new boss demo I tried was unbelievable! It threw in glitches aplenty, as well as graphical hiccups to match. Beats dropped as the screen went fuzzy, and then black. I tried my best to maintain the beat and my concentration, and I just barely made it out.
The music is fantastic. I was blown away by the quality of the tracks, and then blown away once more when the composer told me that this was his first go at making music for a game. I'm still amazed that they had to go in and tweak the engine to match with each glitch and audio trip up to get the timing accurate.
I can heap praise on this game all day, but you're better off watching the videos or trying out the browser-based demo. Even if you've checked it out before, please try this new build. It's deliciously difficult, and that's really what keeps me coming back. Well, that and the fantastic music.
I can't wait until they finish this. Put it on the Vita, please!
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