Rythm Indie Games can be great for players of all ages and abilities. They can be perfect for parties and great to play solo too.
Whether you’re looking for a unique game to play or a new one to try out, we’ve got some great indie titles to check out below!
Beat Saber combines rhythm reaction with immersive combat, using a pair of blue and red lightsabers to slice blocks and obstacles in time with the music. Levels are carefully designed with a lot of variety, and the game’s genuinely unique gameplay has won fans over.
The game’s newest update adds two new musical notes to the mix, Arcs, and Chains. The former is a trail that attaches to your saber and guides you into new blocks, while the latter changes how you cut those same blocks.
Like many other rhythm games, Beat Saber offers a variety of difficulty levels. Players can start with Easy and move to Normal, Hard, and Expert+.
A campaign mode also challenges you to complete daily objectives and go head-to-head against other players. In addition, the game has a community of creators creating custom songs and song mods.
This virtual reality game is not for the faint of heart, and it takes a lot of practice and patience to master. But if you put in the time and are persistent, you can learn to score high combos and earn big scores.
Thumper is a brutal, challenging, visually arresting rhythm game. You play as a chrome beetle hurtling unstoppably into a void, zooming through hellscapes on rails at grimace-inducing speed.
Each level sees you navigating a series of lanes as you dodge walls, spikes, and other obstacles while trying to hit the beats. You can only sustain two hits at a time, and you need to swap lanes, hop, ground pound, and do whatever it takes to survive.
The gameplay itself is reminiscent of classic rhythm games like Rez and Amplitude. The visuals, meanwhile, are sharp, with tendrils and right angles and weird undulating shapes that recall insectoid limbs.
What’s more, it does a terrific job of making its hellish visuals evoke an atmosphere of dread. From gates that laser your shell off if you miss an A button press to snakes that require you to dodge them, it creates a sense of foreboding.
As you progress through the levels, you’ll also encounter boss battles. The mid-level boss is a simple geometric shape, while the final-level boss is a spooky head with fiery orange eyes. Each requires you to make a sequence of turns that can only be performed flawlessly, and a global leaderboard lets you compare your scores with others.
Pistol Whip is an action rhythm game that puts you in control of a gun and challenges your ability to shoot and dodge enemies to the beat of the music. It was developed by Cloudhead Games and released late in 2019.
The premise is simple: you automatically move forward through linear stages while shooting at enemies that appear and avoiding bullets or obstacles. You must also maintain your health by reloading or pistol-whipping an enemy to regain it.
But like Beat Saber, the soundtrack sets Pistol Whip apart. Each song (or scene) has a unique rhythm that moves you through the stage, and if you don’t get your timing right, you’ll have a hard time earning high scores.
Over the years, developer Cloudhead has continued adding updates that bring fresh content and new play methods. The latest update, launching this week on Steam and Oculus Home for Rift and Quest, is called the ‘Encore’ update. It includes two new levels, a party mode for local pass-and-play, and a slew of modifiers that let players tweak each group to their liking.
Crypt of the NecroDancer
Crypt of the NecroDancer is a hardcore roguelike rhythm game that’s fun and challenging. It features many playable characters and challenges players to fight through dungeons to defeat the NecroDancer and reclaim their beating hearts.
The music is crucial to the gameplay and will affect how well you survive. The soundtrack comes from the Danny Baranowsky collection, or you can use your MP3 library.
Use the beat to guide you through a randomly generated dungeon, slay dancing skeletons, zombies, dragons, and more as you groove to the epic Danny Baranowsky soundtrack. You can even team up with a friend in a local co-op!
In addition to the main title, developer Brace Yourself Games recently released a massive expansion pack called Synchrony. This adds online multiplayer (co-op and vs), three new characters, full mod support, and a built-in mod portal. It also features new weapons, enemies, and items.
Arcasea is one of the newer rhythm games on the market. It uses a more old-school step bridge like Guitar Hero and has a lot of content, including over 90 songs from 50 artists. The game also offers three difficulty levels, leaderboards, and online play.
It’s not a top-tier game, but it’s still a great way to spend a few hours. Its top-down play style works well and is easy to pick up.
Unlike some other rhythm games, Arcasea emphasizes the storyline more. You can follow the eponymous character as she travels a map and discovers new secrets.
The game’s soundtrack blends music and percussion with loud bass drops and almost terrifying sound effects. The game is also a bit more violent than you might expect from a rhythm game, but it’s still fun to send your little beetle hurtling around tracks.
Trombone Champ will not teach you how to play the trombone, but it will provide endless comedy as you attempt to perform a rootin’-tootin version of classical pieces and folk melodies. It also has a variety of challenges, including boss fights and evasive maneuvers, that will test your reflexes and attack patterns.
If you’ve loved rhythm games, many great titles come out yearly. But not all of these titles reach their potential and finding the perfect match for you can be challenging.
One such title that does a fantastic job of blending genres is Spin Rhythm XD, which sees players using guitar-like mechanics to spin a “wheel” in time with the music. This early access game is available in five difficulties and features an impressive library of electronic songs.
Another unique entry is Beat Saber, which uses dual-wielded sabers to slice through red and blue-colored cubes in tune with the music. Each hit lands a score multiplier and helps players dodge incoming obstacles.
Whether you’re looking for a new challenge or want to try out a different genre of rhythm game, these eight are sure to get your blood pumping. You may even get addicted to some of them! So remember to share this list with your friends and tell us which you’ve played.
Deemo is one of the more memorable fantasy rhythm games we’ve come across on the Switch. Its simple system, filled with beautiful imagery and music, is easy to understand and enjoy. The gameplay resembles playing the piano and features over 200 pieces in different genres.
The story is pretty touching, too: A young girl falls down a trapdoor in the sky and meets a mysterious pianist named Deemo, who plays to her in his castle home. They soon make a friend and begin playing music together, hoping to grow a tree so Alice can return to her world.
As the song progresses, it’ll encourage the tree to shoot upwards and reach a window allowing Alice to return to her real world. They earn points and unlock new songs to play as they work together.
As with any rhythm game, the more complex songs require you to try them out more often to score well. That’s a problem with some fun, but it works well here and is easy to understand.
Guitar Hero is one of the best-selling video game franchises of all time. It’s credited with popularizing rhythm games and has even been adapted to mobile devices as part of the Apple Arcade.
While the Guitar Hero series is simple in design, it offers a variety of features that make it one of the most enjoyable titles in the genre. The game includes:
- Many songs.
- Cover versions of recognizable rock hits.
- An excellent array of multiplayer modes.
The gameplay of Guitar Hero is based on the player pressing colored notes against a scrolling fretboard. This allows players to score points for playing the notes in time with the music.
During specific particular segments, glowing notes outlined by stars appear; hitting all of these notes fills the Star Power meter and increases the scoring multiplier. The whammy bar can also sustain notes, increasing the score of any message held for an extended period.
Guitar Hero Live uses a slightly more realistic approach to the guitar controller, switching from a five-colored button array to two rows of three buttons. It takes a little getting used to, but it’s a fun challenge that feels like playing an actual guitar.