Ever since the dawn of PaRrappa the Rapper, I have loved rhythm-based games. This evolved to Guitar Hero and Rock Band, but I always have a soft spot for colourful and silly titles. Consequently, when a demo for Rhythm Sprout: Sick Beats & Bad Sweets became available, I couldn’t resist.
Developed by SURT and published by tinyBuild, this is an insanely addictive rhythm-based title. What’s more, it has a stupid story, some food-inspired protagonists, and plenty of challenging action. Like its peers, it demands accuracy, memory recall, and an awful lot of patience. However, this leads to rewarding gameplay, plenty of replay value, and endless belly laughs.
Rhythm Sprout has a ridiculous story of deception.
You are Sprout, the “Chosen Onion”. As such, a lot of pressure and expectation land on your shoulders. Wait, do onions have shoulders? Well, no matter the answer, people demand a lot of you, nevertheless. Consequently, you spend your time exploring the colourful kingdom while helping the locals. Moreover, you are requested to help the King with many tasks. However, what you don’t know is that you are being deceived, and your world is being turned upside down. Yet, this doesn’t faze this vegetable hero, and by following the beat of the music, he’ll complete every task and be deemed a hero.
So, the plot is totally sane and there is absolutely nothing bizarre about it in any way. Just in case you’ve missed the sarcasm, Rhythm Sprout is crazy! But I loved the insanity of it all, and it was only beaten by the maddening action. The rhythmical mechanics will test you in ways you never thought imaginable. Accordingly, to make matters worse, it shouldn’t be so tough, as effectively, you have minimal inputs to master, and each level should be a cinch. However, in reality, the fast tempo will push you throughout. On top of this, you’ll need the reactions of a racing snake and the dexterity of a superhero. Other than this, it’s pretty easy to play. Again, sarcasm, just in case you missed it.
5 levels to give you a taste.
This demo does a phenomenal job of highlighting key elements of the full game. The rounded gameplay and ever-changing mechanics highlight what to expect from the finished product. Though the story wasn’t sequential, and little of it made sense, it mattered not. I enjoyed the bits I saw, and I loved the zany characters. Moreover, the snippets of information opened your eyes to what will be.
Each level flows in a similar fashion. Following a set path, you must match your button mashing with either a yellow, pink, or blue indicator. Each press is graded, and you are scored accordingly. Furthermore, chaining together large combinations of perfect presses will multiply your score further. On top of this, you can use a special onion power to either replenish your health or improve your score. If that wasn’t enough, each stage is littered with QTEs that mix things up while increasing the challenge.
If this wasn’t enough, the developers have added a grading system for each level and special modes to “remix” every stage. By changing the core mechanics, you’ll experience a fresh approach, and this pushes you further. This was fantastic, as it’ll keep you playing and prevent boredom.
Rhythm Sprout is hand-drawn and great to look at.
Hand-drawn aesthetics are my guilty pleasure. Subsequently, I adore any game that masters the artistry. Luckily, Rhythm Sprout does just that with its funky characters and interesting stage design. Furthermore, the colour palette is incredibly vivid and matches the insanity of the plot. However, what was most impressive was how smoothly it ran. In a game about accuracy and rhythm, you need it to be on point at all times. Thankfully, it never faltered and I have high hopes for its full release.
What was also amazing was the original soundtrack. The funky music will have you tapping your feet as you get sucked into the vegetable world. I’m not ashamed to admit that I became obsessed with each song, and like the visuals, I can’t wait to experience the rest of the action.
Excellent controls and gamepad support.
I love the developer’s inclusive approach. With simple controls and full gamepad support, they’ve accounted for both the console and PC community. This was an excellent decision that ensures everyone is happy. Furthermore, no matter which option you choose, they were both easy to pick up and responsive to use.
Longevity and replay value are high on the developer’s priorities. Yet, I can’t say how long the game will be, nor the depths it’ll explore. However, in this demo, you experience the excellent additional modes that give you a taste of what’s to come.
Rhythm Sprout is a brilliant must-play game.
This demo highlights the importance of the Steam Next Fest event. Without it, players may have overlooked this brilliant must-play title. While the demo is free, I implore you to try it! What’s more, while you are there, why not add it to your wishlist? Can you save the kingdom? Feel the beat, help the locals, and overcome the disrespectful lies.
Rhythm Sprout is a fun but tough rhythmical title that’ll push you to your limits. This short demo gives you an insight into what to expect upon full release. I can’t wait to take on the final product even if I risk losing my cool and my sanity.
(Reviewed on PC using Steam. Only available on PC)