Rhythm games developed for a platform that originated as a music playing device seem like a no brainer and the iOS has seen its fair share of titles. Some like Rock Band and Guitar Hero attempted to spin popular home-console based series onto the mobile space using licensed music purchased from an in-game store. Others though went the extra mile and based the game on the music the player already owned, generating gameplay based on those song files. Konami’s latest iOS effort, beat gather, is a game of the latter variety.
Like other games that create gameplay based on the player’s music library, beat gather can automatically generate a gameplay level* for play but beat gather also allows players to create their own levels and share them with others. The basic gameplay loop is very similar to games like Guitar Hero, with gems scrolling on the screen and needing to be hit when they reach the score bar to chain together multipliers and higher scores.
There are a couple twists to the core gameplay in beat gather though. The gems in beat gather require the player to either tap directionally, swipe and or hold and they don’t always come from the top of the screen. Instead of the traditional note highway, beat gather’s score bar moves up, down and twists diagonally with notes coming from all angels meaning there is no sitting back and relaxing as the notes come down the screen.
When you start beat gather, you’ll only have one song slot to populate and auto-generating a song costs beat points. You’ll gain beat points for playing songs, as well as logging in and other more random reasons, but to do anything in the game you’ll require beat points. This all means that a lot of beat gather needs to be played to get all the potential slots and while it is not grossly over-reaching like many games with the same model, it does cause players to jump through some hoops to play the game. There are also cash purchases in the in-game store, but they are mostly cosmetic.
All in all, beat gather offers a lot of fun for fans of rhythm games, continuing the long line of Konami music games that get it right.
*During my review test run I did run into a few instances where it could not auto generate a level.