Akihabara: Feel the Rhythm Remixed is a music rhythm puzzle game for Nintendo Switch. It is also available on Steam, Apple and Android mobile platforms just minus the Remixed part of the title. Coming from developer JMJ Interactive it attempts to bring back memories of Tetris, Columns as well as Puyo Puyo while mixed with Lumines.
Because of this, music is a massive part of the game. You have three different albums to play through – Akihabara, Midnight Mix and Electronic Symphony – although they are all essentially varying mixes of the same songs. On the first album, I quickly racked up 30 minutes of great music without even realising. It makes the perfect background to the puzzle element at the forefront of the gameplay, which is a standard score based affair. The difference between this game and the recently release Tetris Effect, which is on my list to be played, is that you can stack up the lines and then go through releasing them strategically with the B button. This allows you to get large combos and in time with the music being played, although it’s not always that easy to hit the beat. I tried multiple times, with a limited success rate, on the same album in an attempt to get that perfect beat going when removing the lines.
Of the three albums, the most enjoyable is the Midnight Mix. It’s supposed to reflect the time after all the craziness of Akihabara, a busy district in central Tokyo that is famous for electronics shops, has subsided for the evening and everyone is tucked up in bed. I think they are missing a trick here and should have included an unlockable mode that allows you just to listen to the music without having to play. The soundtrack is so chilled out I could easily listen to it for a number of hours. The other two levels take place in the day with all the hustle and bustle of the city and the busy districts which is played out by the music.
I enjoyed the game but it is not without its criticism, there are only three modes in this version which in turn means there isn’t much meat on the bones. The gameplay is fun but Akihabara just doesn’t offer enough content for the price tag which is a bit of a shame. The three modes are just varying different BPM of the same tracks mixed slightly differently. This doesn’t hold out to games Like Lumines and Tetris which you can go back and play for hours and even years in the case of Tetris. The disparity in price is an interesting choice also, on Steam you can pick up the game for £1.99 or just the soundtrack at £1.39, mobile the game is also £1.99 but on the Switch it is well over five pounds. I think that if this was a lower price on Switch a lot more people would jump in and give it a go but I get the feeling most won’t and miss what is arguably a fun puzzle game that can be played on the go.
This is a perfect sale game to pick up when it’s dirt cheap. It’s lovely on the Switch especially with headphones on so that you can just take in the great music playing in the background. Overall I give this 5/10 but with some extra time from the dev and maybe a more fleshed out gameplay loop that score could have easily been increased.
Beard Score: 5/10
Platform: Steam, iOS, Android, Nintendo Switch
Release Date: 29/11/18
No. of Players: 1
Category: Music, Arcade, Puzzle
Publisher: JMJ Interactive