Game Review

VOEZ Review (2016)

Screen Critics Melissa takes a look at VOEZ – the interesting touchscreen rhyme game. Is it worth your time and effort to play?

VOEZ offers another rhythm game experience from the developers Rayark Games. The developers have previously created rhythm games for mobile iOS and AndroidCytus and Deemo. VOEZ is their first title to be ported onto a console. A note for this review: the bulk of my experience with this game has been on the Nintendo Switch. I did download VOEZ to my Android phone to get a look at that version and to highlight differences between the two.

The controls for VOEZ are reliant to the touch screen. After selecting a song, lines that the notes will descend on will form and shift and can differ based on the song. There are 4 types of nodes that will be seen playing through the variety of songs. A simple diamond shape with a red centre and black outline will be the primary type of node requiring a tap when it nears the horizontal bar at the bottom of the tracks.

Next, there is a holding the note, they look like stretched out versions of the nodes, vary in length and requiring players to tap and hold for the duration. The third is the swipe. A blue arrow nodes will point in the direction needed to swipe a finger across the screen. The last type is the slide. Small white diamond shapes will appear in groupings at a time. After tapping the first one that reaches the bottom, keep a finger on the screen and move across to the other lines as they come down.

There is no way to fail a song. There are multiple rhythm games that, if enough notes are missed or off beat, the song will end abruptly. That will not happen in VOEZ. I tested this by starting a song, hitting one note and then doing nothing while the song played to the end. I got a horrible score and only 1 on the combo, but the song didn’t stop.

The test showed me one other piece of information in regards to the grading system. After the completion of a song, there will be a run down. It shows how many taps were: Max Perfect, Perfect, OK, Missed, the length of the longest combo, overall score, and grade. The test allowed me to learn on my own that the lowest grade is a C. From there, it moves up to B, A, and S. The lack failure took away a challenging aspect to the songs, however. But it is not without challenge.

The game has a story. It can seem slightly odd for this genre of game. It doesn’t have a large impact on the gameplay, but it is light bonus material that can add to the experience for those who pursue it. The story segments are unlocked by getting higher scores and playing on higher difficulties. That addition gives a larger motivation to try more songs and at higher difficulties. The story segments differ at each tier, sometimes dialogue of the characters it introduced, a journal like the entry of an event, or just a picture of the story setting that can be connected to the descriptions and mentions of other pieces.

The biggest difference between the Switch and Mobile version is that one is free. On Mobile, the game can be played for free. It will be a limited version requiring payment to play the full catalogue of songs. In terms of play, it is the same game. I will admit that using the touch screen of my phone to play felt less awkward thanks to the smaller size. I could hold it my hands easily and move multiple fingers across the screen as needed. Compared to my Switch, I had to create a set-up for it to sit at a proper angle to play comfortably. One final drawback to the mobile version is that it requires Wi-Fi. Without Wi-FI it could burn through data and rack up charges on your bill.

The game is a proper fit to the Switch in terms of play style. It feels like a good pick up as a game to just waste a bit of time or relax with. The songs are highly instrumental and/or vocal depending on the song. Each can be repetitive within themselves, but that didn’t take away that feeling while I played as if I was conducting the music. But for what it is, I’m not sure if the price is entirely worth it. Songs can be hit or miss for enjoyment. The story chapters are a cute addition but are not fully compelling to me personally. If you’re interested in the game, check out the mobile (free) version to see whether you enjoy the experience before potentially wasting money on the Nintendo Switch version.

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