By Kris . June 10, 2012 . 1:30pm
Orgarhythm is a weird game. Despite the fact that I played through nearly an entire level before dying, I’m still not exactly sure how the game works.
When I started the game, I had a commander and a number of troops. They would move along a set path independent of my input. The background music was primarily a perpetual beat, but that beat was the heart of gameplay.
The game starts with a single circle in the center of the screen. Tap that circle in time to the beat and more circles appear above, below, to the left, and to the right of the (now vanished) circle you just tapped. You then choose the color of the troops you want to use from this diamond-shaped menu. The game’s units are organized in a rock-paper-scissors fashion. Yellow beats blue, blue beats red, and red beats yellow. I couldn’t always tell what colors my enemies were, so a lot of my choices were simply guesswork.
After selecting the color of the units you want to use, you chose your attack style from a similar menu. You could choose between catapults, bows, or hand-to-hand combat. After selecting one of these, you traced a line along whatever enemy you wanted to attack. Once again, I was so overwhelmed trying to take everything in, I couldn’t really tell which attacks were effective on what enemies or how they even differed from each other. I didn’t completely follow the benefits of tracing the lines either.
Adding to my confusion was the fact that the game is definitely a rhythm game. Matching your selections to the beat will result in more effective attacks and the generation of additional troops. Worse rhythm means weaker attacks. Since I only had a couple of minutes with the game and I’m generally awful at rhythm games, I was generally fumbling through the whole selection process and my focus on the menu options themselves kind of overshadowed the onscreen action. That said, when you got into the 1-2-3-4 rhythm of open-troops-attack-trace, it was pretty fun (even if I did occasionally choose the wrong troops for the job in my rhythmic trance).
Despite the fact that my lack of rhythm was getting me killed, there were a few ways to keep myself alive. I was able to select a white icon on the troop selection menu and use it to heal and buff my troops. I generally tried to do this when there were no enemies onscreen, but what I assume were my white troops were killed when I was trying to fight the boss.
The boss itself had an interesting effect on gameplay. He sped up the background beat, requiring me to make choices more quickly to build up my troops. Unfortunately, my confusion and poor timing ultimately resulted in my death.
While I still don’t really know what I did in Orgarhythm, I have to admit, I did have fun. Hopefully I’ll be able to figure out what I’m supposed to be doing when the game comes out on Vita later this year.