Headbangers: Rhythm Royale Doesn’t Quite Capture the Fall Guys Fun
Image via Team 17

Headbangers: Rhythm Royale Doesn’t Quite Capture the Fall Guys Fun

Now that Headbangers: Rhythm Royale has had some time to breathe, I really can’t help but feel like this minigame based battle royale is still not quite on par with Fall Guys. It’s close, but certain elements hold it back a bit. 

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Like Fall Guys, Headbangers: Rhythm Royale is a battle royale in which 30 players go through rounds by playing music-based minigames to determine which player is the best. Each person has a mascot character, like the titular Fall Guys, only here they are pigeons. It’s designed to follow a quick get in, place in the group, get out, go again gameplay loop as well too. 

Image via Team 17

However, I feel like the crux that keeps Headbangers: Rhythm Royale from being as satisfying was Fall Guys is partially due to the execution. Rhythm games, by their nature, really succeed when you can take time to practice, learn the note patterns, and gain familiarity with the songs. Given how quickly some of these minigames go (they pass in a minute or so), the random nature of which one you get, and the inability to use past rhythm game knowledge and skills to carry you through, it keeps it from being as immediately accessible and fun. Fall Guys has that, given the nature of courses and reliance on game structure and concepts we see repeatedly. Here, if you’re in a match with more experienced players, it really feels like the deck is stacked against you in my experience. 

There’s an attempt to capture some of that magic in rewards as well! There’s the same sort of motivation to keep playing. You earn crumbs for wins. That means more customization items. Getting to stand out and dress up your pigeon has its perks. I enjoyed seeing my lil’ guy look a little different. 

We also have the knowledge that maybe things could improve, grow, or do more. There are seasons, which means new content. So far, the free season two update, which appeared on December 7, 2023, just meant new cosmetic items for characters. It’s fine. But maybe this means future updates could add more minigames or growth that could make the overall experience more enjoyable.

Because there is potential here. The simple controls could make Headbangers: Rhythm Royale more accessible to a wider audience. I know I passed the system off to family to let folks give it a go, and it seemed like they were more likely to pick this up due to the nature of the minigames and rhythm elements. (I know two of my cousins bounced off of Fall Guys because of the way the courses worked and some skill-based issues.) So there could be a place for it.

Headbangers: Rhythm Royale is in a situation where it could get better and improve to be more of a title that a large audience could play. However when I played it, the selection of current games and pacing of them and the issues I had with connecting on the Switch left me feeling like I should go back and redownload Fall Guys on my PS5 or Switch again instead. It’s a fine game, but it isn’t quite there when it comes to being Mediatonic’s title’s equal.

Headbangers: Rhythm Royale is available on the Nintendo Switch, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, and PC. 

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Jenni Lada
Jenni is Editor-in-Chief at Siliconera and has been playing games since getting access to her parents' Intellivision as a toddler. She continues to play on every possible platform and loves all of the systems she owns. (These include a PS4, Switch, Xbox One, WonderSwan Color and even a Vectrex!) You may have also seen her work at GamerTell, Cheat Code Central, Michibiku and PlayStation LifeStyle.