April 8, 2011 at 4:39 pm

Shoot ‘Em Up ‘Wave’ Game Shows Music Apps’ Arcade Potential

wave gameplayEach song has its own rhythm. So do the Space Invaders and other arcade videogame foes who swarm hapless gamers as they pilot their crafts through the galaxy. Combine the two, and you could have something special: a videogame where all the gaming elements are synchronized to music. Forget the stars – it’s time to dance with the Space Invaders.

Several attempts have been made at this concept to date on the mobile platform, perhaps most notably by Tapulous (of Tap Tap Revenge fame), acquired by Disney last summer, which basically transfered the Guitar Hero concept onto the iPhone.

But what’s the fun in that, if you don’t get to hold a plastic guitar in your hand? Other more classically-designed games, such as the classic vertical scroller Space Invaders (or the wacky side-scroller Vib Ribbon for that matter) would seem to work better on the mobile platform, because they weren’t originally designed to be played with a guitar.

Wave Against Every Beat for the iPhone takes a stab at that very idea, and it’s free to download today (Friday).

After playing around with it a bit, we’re mightily impressed by the graphics and the gameplay, which lets you accumulate ever-increasing weaponry in your quest to blast dastardly cubes as they fly down from the top of the screen in heavy sorties. Who doesn’t love blasting these cubes?

(Note: My ship is not visible in the above screenshot because I was shredding so hard.)

But ultimately, WEAB only scratches the surface in terms of what’s possible with a musically-driven arcade game. For starters, it’s hard to connect the cube formations to the beats, or at least I didn’t notice much of a correlation. I did notice that more beats generally meant more cubes, but the integration between the music and the game could be much tighter. And, of course, one should be able to choose from more songs (preferably from one’s own music collection) rather than putting up with whatever poppy jam the game decides to throw at you.

Waves Against Every Beat is an amusing diversion, especially if you manage to download it today for free. That said, we can’t wait to see the synchronized games app developers will come up with in the future.