Without me telling you this, we all know there is a bunch of Japanese music that goes undiscovered regardless of how exceptional the music may be. So I came up with the idea of sharing my favorite rhythm games to hopefully allow you to discover great music in an entertaining way. These games offer a big variety of Japanese music you most likely wouldn’t otherwise have come by, so definitely give them a try!
Starting off with the number one pick, since this game definitely deserves your rhythmic attention! Cytus II offers an exciting gameplay, and in my opinion, the best graphical interface any rhythm game has to offer on mobile. Unlike traditional rhythm games, the judgment line is constantly scanning up and down, the player will then have to hit the appearing notes at the moment the line passes—the notes may also appear at any spot on the screen. As difficult as it may sound, this is the charm of the game as it keeps it incredibly lively and fun!
One of the many features contributing to Cytus II being a top seller in 100 regions is the story development and its elegant artwork. Currently, there are six main characters in the story; each character can be viewed as a song-pack (that includes 10–14 songs). As you play through their songs, you’ll reveal more of the story from the perspective of each individual character.
The game includes a total of over 90 excellent songs in various genres; in the order of the character position as seen in the video above, pop, electronic, hardcore, metal, symphonic, rock, and jazz (not shown in the video). About 30 songs are available out of the box, the rest can be purchased for a fair price, typically what an album cost, $1 per song.
Update 2018-08-03: Cytus II has expanded quickly, with version 1.5 the characters gained more songs, and there are now a total of three song packs available for purchase, these song packs aren’t associated with the characters nor the story. A new character was added in version 1.4 too, with its main genre being jazz music.
Alternatives to Cytus II
Arcaea preserves a standard five lane layout at the bottom in addition to a unique upper “sky input” zone! The notes appearing in the sky input zone are referred to as “sky notes” and “arc notes”. Fundamentally, sky notes are the same as regular notes, you just hit them to score. However, with arc notes, you will have to tap and hold and follow its shape. The arc itself can take various shapes and even twist at times, making the entire game much more dynamic and entertaining.
Currently, there are about 80 songs available in Arcaea, with the majority of the songs being a symphonic electronic combination. Pricing of the song packs is reasonably priced, like Cytus II, it sits around $1 per song.
A super elegant and refined game following the orthodox layout of vertical rhythm games where notes rain down. Well, except that all these freaking judgment lanes are shuffled around as you play, increasing both the difficulty and enjoyment! The game is very straightforward and easy to learn—but like with every rhythm game—hard to master. To play VOEZ, you will need a constant internet connection, so keep that in mind.
Out of our three top selection, this game has the biggest song library, reaching about 200 songs to pick from! A handful of them being served as free songs to play, and within this selection, there is a category of time-limited songs that updates every week. Pricing remains around $1 per song here as well, just like our other two top picks.