Riddim Ribbon is Tapulous’ first attempt at making a game that veers down a different path from the extremely successful Tap Tap Revenge series. Not much has been known about this game for a long time, since it was previewed at an Apple event alongside other big name games like Assassin’s Creed II. Slowly but surely small trailers were released and artists name have been announced through their site and free tracks on TTR3. Finally after a long time we have received this highly anticipated title, but not without some criticism.
Riddim Ribbon by Tapulous - $2.99Buy it now on the App Store
I was very surprised to see that this title was only $2.99, especially when games like Lady Gaga Revenge and others in the premium Tap Tap range have all been $4.99. The reason for this is that it only features 3 songs initially with 3 songs currently available to purchase through DLC. While my initial thoughts were that it was highly priced it’s pretty obvious that we are getting the good end of the bargain.
Songs in Tap Tap Revenge work out to be $0.50 each for a couple of difficulty levels and a simple theme to tap to. In Riddim Ribbon Tapulous have to set a large layout for you to tilt to, multiple remixes and different layouts for each track so $0.99 seems like a decent price for a song. Plus it’s also better when it costs more to buy the songs or remixes on iTunes. For early adopters who buy the game within the first 72 hours you get a free 2-song track bundle on TTR3 and also get a free remix version of ‘Meet Me Halfway’ by Black Eyed Peas on iTunes.
One of the highlights in this game is definitely the awesome graphics in this game. It’s basically guaranteed that any track you play will have the track’s winding in and out of each other as your ball is constantly jumping and moving all around the track. Some great visual effects are presented as the ball rolls down the course with lights and effects coming off the back of the ball. This game looked impressive from previews of the game but it’s nothing like having the might of this game in your hands.
Another feature I quite liked is how each song has a different ‘theme’ to it as such. While it’s nothing too drastic just a different color tone and items make for a nice mix up in this game. Another feature I like it the layout of the menu screens and the nice backdrops when showing what songs are available. At the moment it works well with only a few songs but it may need to be re-done as the song list gets past 10-15 songs.
The only thing presentation wise that may annoy some users is that it seems to struggle on older devices. On the 3GS this game runs like a gem and also generally does while on the 1st Gen devices. The only suggestion I have to those users is don’t play while either a new song or another app is downloading as the lag is phenomenal. Apart from that this is a top notch game on this side of things.
The coolest thing about Riddim Ribbon is how it is one of, if not the only music game on the App Store where you don’t tap to the music somehow. From Tap Tap to Beatrider and Beat It! you have to tap to the game, but this is a hands off approach only with no on screen buttons.
To play Riddim Ribbon it is all about tilting to the music. As you follow the track you must tilt your device to stay on the ribbon of music, otherwise the noise will deteriorate to just a base beat. There are ramps which launch you into the air but when you have to collect a token in the air or avoid a blockade you must tilt your device forward to manually jump into the air. I found that just panicking and making a sudden jerk of the iPhone worked quite nicely as well.
If there was any suggestion I could make to the controls it would be that the tilt range of the track is way too big. I am finding, especially in parts of the song where the ribbon is on the edge of track, that it is incredibly awkward to hold that position. You nearly have to hold the device at about a 60 degree angle which not only looks weird if someone else doesn’t know what you’re doing, but it’s hard to do repeatedly. I would like to see either a smaller range of motion to cover the track (like the racing games on the App Store) or maybe keeping the game upright like NFS: Undercover could be the way to go.
I’m sure you are now aware what this game is all about. The aim is to get the Riddim Ribbon ball down the track to get a high score. You do this by keeping on the ribbon and jumping to collect tokens in the air. What makes this game extra special though are the many ways you can chop and change the song to create a different song everytime you play. This is done in two ways; either by making a decision at an intersection or using the ramp to reach a new track which presents a brand new remix.
Each song has different remixes put towards it. For example you could be rolling down on ‘Boom Boom Pow’ and reach an intersection. You may have a particular liking to a particular artists remix, so you can choose the path you want as there are signs stating who has made the remix. For me I have a strong liking to anything by David Guetta, so any chance possible I will take his route. The short bonus remix versions that can only be reached if you launch yourself off a yellow ramp will take you to a ‘dope’ remix of the song which is quite different to the others. There are no artists names in this remix so I’m guessing it’s a Tapulous version.
The game comes with 3 tracks from the Black Eyed Peas and as I explained before this seems to be a fair price for these tracks. A free sample of one of Tiësto’s songs in the game is also available to be purchased for free. This game definitely is all about the Black Eyed Peas, with their songs Meet Me Halfway, I Gotta Feeling and Boom Boom Pow being included as well as commentary from Will.i.am. Two additional Tiësto tracks, Escape Me and Louder Than Boom are available via DLC and Satisfaction by Benny Benassi also able to be bought. It is announced that the game will end up having 15+ songs available, whether they are free or all DLC is yet to be known.
All the Black Eyed Peas tracks are available to be played in three difficulty levels. The two DLC tracks I purchased only had Medium and Hard difficulty modes. When you first play the game you can only play the easiest difficulty until you have an 80% or higher accuracy rate before you unlock the next difficulty. This is quite a good idea as it keeps you in a level that you can still improve on instead of starting with hard and being totally blown away.
While the general conception through both consumers and reviewers alike has been that this isn’t a very good title, I found that once you play this game a bit it will grow on you. Certainly there are areas where this game needs to be improved, in particular the tilt controls where most of the concern is headed. I can’t wait to see where they take this title seeing how successful DLC was for TTR3. I can’t see too many songs coming to Riddim Ribbon being free, as not many Indie artists will be able to get remixes of their songs to even be considered being included.
This game is very much Black Eyed Peas orientated and unless you love Tiësto to bits or are interested in this game style then it probably won’t be the game for you. I love the concept behind Riddim Ribbon and the fact that it is just really an exciting way to mix your own tracks. This game is not perfected yet, but with some tweaking and time to add content I feel like this game will be one of the best games on the App Store.
P.S- Those early adopters of the game will also get a free download of Meet Me Halfway (Jeepney Halfway Remix) on iTunes, 100 credits in Tap Tap Revenge 3, a themed Riddim Ribbon background for TTR3, another themed Riddim Ribbon background if they emailed RiddimRibbon@Tapulous.com before the release of the game and special Avatar items for every additional track purchased in Riddim Ribbon.
I would recommend this game if you enjoyed- Leaf Trombone: World Stage