Tone Deaf: Rhythm ‘n Notes for the DS

By Dan Zuccarelli . November 26, 2007 . 5:38am

939837_20071023_screen006.jpgThe front of the box of Rhythm 'N Notes claims to "Improve Your Music Skills." Which on the surface sounds like a good idea, but when you start the game the two choices you're given for game types are so far away from each other on the skill level that one seems made for 2 year old's and the other for professional musicians.


There's 2 basic modes, rhythm lesson and note lesson. Rhythm lesson has you tapping the screen along with a pattern on screen and is so simple it made me tired just playing. The patterns were so utterly basic that the only time I missed one is when I zoned out cause it was so boring. I pushed through a bunch of lessons hoping it would get better but never did. You can learn more about rhythm by tapping a table along to your favorite songs in iTunes.


The note lesson is something else entirely. Non-professional muscians need not apply. Of course even muscians are going to have a hard time here. Lesson 1: The game plays a chord and you pick which chord it was from a list of 3. You only hear the chord once and can't play the that are given to you to guess from. Oh, and it's 3 different chords each time. Oh, and you have to do this ten times… picking the right chord %100 percent of the time to open lesson 2.

939837_20071023_screen004.jpgI tried it a few times, to see if I could get lucky. I'm no mathematician but the odds of guessing 10 questions right from 3 different answers has got to be low. I'm not sure how this is supposed to teach me music, this seems like it should be the last lesson in the game, not the 1st. It made the game impossible to play, since it wasn't even remotely accessible.


A game with bad gameplay I can push through if need be, but I can't understand a game that literally makes it impossible to play. Unless I sat down at a real piano at the same time and tried to ear match the chords in the game. And I shouldn't need to do that.


I remember back in college poking fun at my brother cause he was taking a class called "ear training." The course name sounds funny but the material was actually tough. It really was about listening to music and being able to transcribe it just by sound. The teacher of a class like that could get though these lessons…. maybe. 


There's plenty of rhythm titles out for the DS at this point, from guitar games like Jam Sessions and Hannah Montana's Music Jam to drumming games like Taiko DS or Ouendan. If you're in the market for a rhythm game at no point should this title make it into your hands. It's either totally boring or completely inaccessible.


You know how when you go to buy an expansion pack for a PC game and it gives you a warning on the package that you need the full version to play? This game needs a similar warning telling you that you need intense music training to play this, otherwise you won't get anything out of it.

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  • JeremyR

    So when are we going to see a review of Hannah Montana’s Music Jam here?

  • Dan Zuccarelli

    are you trying to torture me? :)

  • TacoBeaver


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