A Personal Take on Rhythm Games | Guidable - Your Guide to a Sustainable, Wellbeing-centred Life in Japan
rhythm games

A Personal Take on Rhythm Games

By Trang Apr 17, 2023

If you ask me what my favourite video game genre of all time is, I will, without any doubt, scream, “RHYTHM GAMES!!!”. I have been playing rhythm games for so long, I love playing them during my free time, and now it has become a hobby of mine.

It’s never too late to try something new, and playing rhythm games might look intimidating, but when you’re in the flow of the music and the notes, it is hard to pull away from them.

What Are Rhythm Games?

Transparent as its title, rhythm games are all about music and follow songs’ musical patterns. Essentially what you’re doing is pushing buttons with the background music to create synchronisation. As long as you imitate the same beat without messing up the tune, it will make a tremendous additional melody.

Nowadays, it’s not just button pressing, rhythm games also include dancing, playing an instrument (guitar, drums, etc.), singing, and many more.

I Play Rhythm Games to Relieve Stress

rhythm games relieve stress

Credit: Canva.com

As previously mentioned, playing rhythm games is a hobby of mine, and recently, it has become a habit to reduce stress. You might think, “Hmm, isn’t that kind of a contrast?”. Yes, I do relax and rest when I feel pressured, but playing rhythm games is always my go-to option to loosen up.

Playing them on mobile is my usual choice. Tapping the notes on my phone or my tablet and listening to my favourite songs just makes me feel better, and the pressure I feel gradually decreases. It’s like “throwing away the stress” through every note I tap or flick.

Different Kinds of Rhythm Games

There are many kinds of rhythm games based on the music or the note design they have, but I will categorise them based on which device you play on.


Due to the spacious area, you can play various rhythm games requiring your whole body to move. For example, dancing, playing large instruments (drums, etc.), or the classic type, which is the “pushing the buttons” kind.

Television and Console

A TV is an excellent alternative if you want to play at home. Even though the area might not be big enough, like the arcade, you can still play games like dancing, playing instruments, and singing. Besides those games, you can also connect to consoles (PlayStation or Nintendo) or a Virtual Reality (VR) set to play games on them.


Playing on a PC/laptop has the same abilities but with a smaller screen. Other than that, there are also a lot of games you can play with your keyboard and/or your mouse, such as osu! or Muse Dash.

Mobile (Smartphone/Tablet)

Playing on a mobile device might be limited. Yet, the rhythm games are much simpler to play, and because of the portable uses of the device, you can play the game anywhere you want.

Personal Recommendation on Rhythm Games

Rhythm games have always been my favourite genre, so here is the list of my go-to games.

プロジェクトセカイ カラフルステージ!feat. 初音ミク (Purojekuto Sekai Carafuru Suteji! feat. Hatsune Miku)

プロセカ rhythm games

Credit: Screenshot by the author (from プロセカ application)

It’s officially translated to Project Sekai Colorful Stage! feat. Hatsune Miku, or プロセカ/puroseka for short. The game was released in 2020, became super popular within the same year, and attracted many people (gamers and even non-gamers).

Besides the rhythm games system, the character design, the event gacha scout, and the stories are just “chef’s kiss”. Another cool feature of the game, you can have a 2D music video (MV) or a 3D MV in the background while playing the game. For the 3D options, you can change whichever characters you want to be featured in the MV. And you can choose which version you want to listen to while playing, the Vocaloid or the character versions.

During my free time or when I’m on a train, with just my phone, I can easily play the game whenever I want. In my opinion, the gameplay is straightforward, the position of the notes is easy to tap or flick on a smartphone, and the beat maps are enjoyable to play. If anyone asks me which rhythm games they should play on a mobile phone, I will definitely recommend this game first.

Platforms: iOS and Android

Localization (original in Japan): Worldwide (available in English, Chinese, and Korean)

バンドリ! ガールズバンドパーティ!(Bandori! Garuzu Bando Pati!)

ガルパ rhythm games

Credit: Screenshot by the author (from ガルパ application)

Officially translated to BanG Dream! Girls Band Party! (Garupa), the game is an adaptation of a musical project called BanG Dream! (Bandori). As the original songs of the project became famous, so did the game.

Again, the gameplay is transparent, the character designs are adorable, and the beat maps are fun to play. Garupa also has the MV in the background feature, yet it’s not as regular as Puroseka.

I knew the game by watching the anime adaptation with the same name as the project. Through the anime, I was amazed by their songs and the story plot. Since then, Garupa has become one of the first rhythm games I have ever played. Even though I haven’t played the game recently, Garupa always has a special place in my heart.

Platforms: iOS, Android, Nintendo Switch

Localization (originally in Japan):

  • Applications: Worldwide (available in English, Chinese, and Korean)
  • Nintendo Switch: currently only has Japanese

HoneyWorks Premium Live(ハニプレ ー Hanipure)

ハニプレ rhythm games

Credit: Screenshot by the author (from ハニプレ application)

All of the songs in the game are created by a musical group called HoneyWorks (Haniwa), as they used a video-sharing platform called niconico (later mainly on YouTube) to share their work.

Each music video is a short story revolving around one character or more within the MV. Within the length of a 5-minute short, we can understand the story and the character’s emotions through the song and the illustration.

I have been a big fan of the group since its beginning, and when they announced that they would release a rhythm game with their songs, I was over the moon. The gameplay is nice, and the beat maps are easy to play on a mobile device. Additionally, just like Puroseka and  Garupa, you can watch the MV while playing the game, and there is an option for you to remove the line note so that you can see the MV more clearly.

As a frequent player of the game, I can see that the game developer listens to their players’ voices as it continuously gets updated regularly. If you are a beginner at rhythm games, this game is a great option.

Platforms: iOS and Android

Localization: currently only available in Japan

Let’s Play Rhythm Games Today!!! 

Although from the outside rhythm games might look super chaotic, when you’re in the game, it is hard to get out of the rhythmic madness.

If you want to know more about rhythm games, check out this article too!!!

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