Let’s talk about Groove Coaster

I’m taking a small break from j-pop (don’t worry, I have plenty of posts on that subject all ready to go) to talk about another one my passions: gaming. Specifically iOS gaming. With me owning both an iPad and an iPhone it comes as no surprise that I do a fair bit of gaming on these devices. While I don’t think dedicated handheld game consoles are dissappearing anytime soon, it is quite handy to have a few decent games available on the same devices I use to check my e-mail, read books, listen to music, etc.

Today’s iOS game is Groove Coaster from TAITO, the makers of Space Invaders Infinity Gene. At its core it’s your basic “tap-to-the-rhytm-of-the-music” game that has quite a few elements in common with Infinity Gene. The graphical style is quite similar, there are numerous references to Infinity Gene and the game also features a medley of Infinity Gene music as one of the levels.

In the game your avatar follows a set course while you try and tap to the beat of the music. As the difficulty and complexity increases you’ll not only have to tap but also slide your finger, hold it down, swipe quickly or tap very fast. Another element are the hidden “ad-lib” points. Small invisible points on the course that you can discover by using a specific item or naturally come to you if you really get in tune with the music. It’s a great game to play in small chunks of time, yet it also has the potential to suck you in for hours.

The music is of course the highlight of this game, featuring various tracks from TAITO’s inhouse band ZUNTATA (looks like I couldn’t resist mentioning a Japanese artist after all). The songs range from perky upbeat to weirdly psychedelic. All I can say is that the very crucial audio portion of this game is very well executed. I do wish this game offered the possibilty to use your own music like Infinity Gene did. I know it’s a different kind of game, but if Audiosurf manages to do it, I don’t see why this game can’t.

The game also has a micropayment system that is well put together. You can buy new tracks/levels, you can buy items that help you on the way as well as avatars that change the nature and flow of the game.

All in all a great game to play if you have an iOS device. The game is a universal app so it will work on both iPad and iPhone without forcing you to buy a seperate version (as it should be in my opinion). I personally recommend playing it on an iPad as the larger screen on that device more effectively highlights the visual spectacle of the various levels.

Groove Coaster is available on iTunes. The official soundtrack is also available for purchase.