Developed by Puuba and published by Akupara Games, The Metronomicon: Slay the Dance Floor is at heart a rhythm game but the guys over at Puuba have also thrown into the mix a heavy RPG influence. How does this work ? I hear you ask , well read on and I’ll do my best to explain it.
There is a story here and as you progress through the game more chapters are added and you learn more about what is going on and what you can do to stop it. The tutorial level sets out the reason for you doing what you do and why you are doing it. In it, the Grandmaster explains that the world is under attack from dance crazed monsters that are intent on using the power of dance to take over the world (or something like that).
You control 4 newly graduated dance students who each have a specific area of expertise, Tank, Healer, Inspiration and DPS. There are more characters to unlock as you progress and they too each bring a specific set of talents to the table.
So, the set-up is that you have 4 characters to control but you only control one at any one time. In the screenshot below you can see the setup.
You switch between the characters using the lb/rb and whichever one is highlighted is in control. You have to match the notes coming down the screen in the same way as you do in Guitar hero/Rock Band using the face buttons or the d-pad to hit the corresponding arrows. I believe you can use the Rock Band guitar as a controller too which I imagine would be easier than the gamepad that I used. That’s not to say that the gamepad is a bad idea, far from it. I managed to complete the game (on easy ) and had no problems at all.
The way you attack is by stringing together a sequence of notes without missing one, there are 3 tiers of attack at your disposal for each character, and each has a specific effect on the enemies. The length of the streak that you manage determines which Tier of attack you unleash. This is where the RPG element of the game comes into it, the enemies have different elements such as earth,water and fire. Your characters should be set up in such a way that all elements are covered and this should make short work of the baddies. There is a short time between switching attacks where you can see which element the enemies are before choosing your next attack but in my playthrough I have to admit to not really taking much notice. The only thing I really concentrated on was making sure I had a healer on the team to make sure I had the ability to last the length of the song. I found that I spent too much time concentrating on getting a good streak going to worry about which elements I was using. I’m certain that my scores would be higher if I used the tools at my disposal but at the age of 47 I don’t think my old brain is quick enough to do that ‘on the fly’.
Below is a screenshot of the character setup screen which shows the scope for switching in different abilities and equipment.
The dialogue of the story is delivered in small sections at certain trigger points, usually after you clear an area. This is also the time that new characters are introduced to you which include a weird dog like dude and an ageing hippy style man.
The graphic style of Metronomicon is hugely colourful and very cartoonish and fits in very well with the game as a whole. The monsters are suitably monsterish without being too scary and the heros are made up of the typical RPG stock. I have to say though, I’ve only really noticed the monsters after I’ve rewatched my own streams. My focus whilst playing was solely on the arrows falling down the tracks, no time to marvel at the style of monsters on show.
Any rhythm game is only as good as the soundtrack of it. This is where Metronomicon really shines. There are 50 tracks in total in the base game (more to come via DLC packs I believe) and even after 7 days straight of playing the game, I still haven’t become bored with the music. There hasn’t been one single time where I’ve thought ‘Oh no , not this bloody song again’. There are a few genres included, electronica, indie, synthwave (??) and I love them all.
Once you have finished the Story Mode your journey doesn’t end. There are more reason to carry on playing, there is an Arena which gives you have to meet certain requirements to unlock rewards and the Arena itself has 7 different leagues to master including a Grandmaster League that features daily challenges. There is also an Endless Mode where you battle through a randomized playlist in the quest for battle points to spend on the chance to get larger rewards, to thwart you in this pursuit there are different handicaps that happen but it’s the thrill of the chase that will keep you coming back for more.
Also included is a Freeplay Mode where you can go in and play any unlocked song.
Multiplayer comes in the form of local only with you and a friend taking control of one hero each , I can see this game being fun at family get togethers or if you have a few mates round for drinks.
The only Online feature in Metronomicon is the scoreboard, as I had a preview copy I found myself in the top 10 on most songs/challenges but as the game is now on general release I can see that changing as more and more people with nimbler fingers than I start playing. I will always have this screenshot though as proof that I was TOP OF THE WORLD MA at one point.
I feel I have rambled a bit so I’ll wrap it up here.
In conclusion, Metronomicon: Slay the Dance Floor was an absolute joy to play and I had huge amounts of fun with it. It’s a title that I will come back to again and again in pursuit of higher scores and maybe sometimes just to chill out and listen to the tunes.
I have great pleasure in giving the game a well deserved 9/10.
Code for review was provided by Akupara games and as always we thank you for it.