The Rhythm Revival
Rhythm games have made a triumphant return, but not in the way you might expect. Gone are the days of imaginary bands rocking out with plastic instruments in games like Guitar Hero and Rock Band. Instead, we’re witnessing a brilliant fusion of rhythm mechanics with other established game genres, resulting in captivating and innovative gameplay experiences.
Two recent releases, Hi-Fi Rush and Metal: Hellsinger, have seamlessly integrated rhythm and music into the action game genre, delivering exceptional titles that have garnered widespread acclaim. These games, in my opinion, rank among the best releases in recent years by a considerable margin. Now, we’re witnessing further experimentation with rhythm mechanics in the realm of modern gaming.
Enter Rhythm Sprout, a game that takes rhythm game mechanics and infuses them with an offbeat, chill indie aesthetic. Developed by SURT and published by TinyBuild, Rhythm Sprout is a delightful and vibrant adventure starring none other than a sentient onion sprout. It’s a game that grabs your attention with its bright visuals, catchy soundtrack, and charming protagonist.
‘Tis a Silly Place
In Rhythm Sprout, players assume the role of the eponymous onion knight, entrusted with a mission by King Brock of the Vegetable Kingdom. The king calls upon the little sprout to thwart an invasion from the Army of Sugary Sweets, led by the notorious King Sugar Daddy. As if that weren’t enough, there’s an additional task of finding the king’s missing daughter, although it seems to be the least of his concerns at the moment.
Embarking on a whimsical and ludicrous adventure, the brave rhythm sprout traverses diverse landscapes, encountering a colorful cast of eccentric characters and grooving to a fantastic soundtrack. Speaking of which, the music in Rhythm Sprout is nothing short of amazing. It’s a mix of various electronic genres, ranging from lo-fi and chiptunes to house and more. There are even playful nods and parodies of iconic tracks by the likes of Venga Boys, Public Domain, and Faithless.
Body Movin’, Body Movin’
Controls in Rhythm Sprout are refreshingly simple, but don’t be fooled by the game’s accessibility. As you progress to later levels, the challenge ramps up considerably. The sprout moves forward with each beat-matching input prompted by the game. Yellow lines correspond to left inputs, red lines to right inputs, and long blue lines require downward inputs. Timing your actions to perfection is crucial, and activating a multiplier at the right moment is key to achieving the highest grade.
Along the journey, you’ll encounter candy and other enemies, leading to captivating twists in the music’s pace and structure. Just when you think you’ve got a song memorized, the game throws a rapid-fire series of notes or a peculiar time signature at you. These segments often culminate in exhilarating button-mashing finales that never fail to entertain. But beware, one slip-up could throw off your rhythm for the next section of the song!
Hours of Replayability and a Killer Soundtrack
Despite its deceptively simple appearance and cheerful soundtrack, Rhythm Sprout may go unnoticed by some players. It lacks the intense power vocals of Matt Heafy from Trivium or the epic demon-slaying battles found in other games. Yet, there’s an addictive charm in strutting alongside a culinary landscape, joyfully vanquishing mischievous ice cream adversaries.
While some may find the game relatively short, it compensates with a well-paced difficulty curve and a satisfying variety of songs. Moreover, completing a song unlocks a range of modifiers for replayability, allowing you to customize the experience to your liking. Whether you prefer the relaxed Beginner Mode, the turbocharged pace of Turbo Mode, the mirrored challenge of Mirror Mode, or the unpredictable randomness of Randomizer Mode, Rhythm Sprout offers options for players of all skill levels.
Rhythm Sprout has earned a special place in my gaming rotation, and I eagerly await the day when my daughter is old enough to appreciate rhythm games so we can share in the fun together. It’s a charming, wholesome, and accessible game that boasts one of the most delightful soundtracks in recent years. If you’re a fan of rhythm games, don’t miss your cue with Rhythm Sprout. It’s a delightful experience that will have you tapping your feet and grinning from ear to ear.