Muse Dash
Gameplay 9
Graphics 9
Sound 10

Muse Dash might be a mobile port, but it is also one of the most adorable looking and addictive rhythm action games on PC. The art style is extremely polished and it also features an incredible soundtrack. The controls are basic enough to draw in newcomers to the genre, but playing some of the faster songs on higher difficulty settings can also provide veterans with a challenge. You also get an incredible amount of content for a very reasonable price, so don’t miss out on this game.

Gameplay: Simple to play, but incredibly addictive once you become hooked.

Graphics: The art style is colorful and adorable.

Sound: The soundtrack is catchy and features a diverse range of great tracks

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Muse Dash

Developer: PeroPeroGames | Publisher: X.D. Network Inc. | Release Date: 2019 | Genre: Action / Casual / Indie | Website: n/a | Purchase: Steam

While rhythm games are not quite as popular as they were back in their heyday when you could almost find a plastic peripheral for every new title, the genre has thankfully not disappeared completely either. Instead, we have titles like Muse Dash, which simplifies things without sacrificing any of the fun and addictiveness. If you are looking for a good story, then you are not going to find it in this game, but this is actually a good thing as it has allowed the developers to let their imaginations run wild. The result is a rhythm game that is chock-full of cute characters, adorable enemies and colorful designs. More importantly, it also features one of the best soundtracks that we have had the pleasure of hearing in recent years, provided that you love Japanese or Chinese pop and dance music.

Muse Dash was originally designed and released as a mobile title, which means it keeps things a little more simple than other Rhythm Action games. However, this also makes the game much more accessible to newcomers while the harder difficulty settings can still provide a fun challenge for veterans. The goal in Muse Dash is very simple; you just need to help your character reach the end of the stage as she runs from left to right. Of course, there are going to be obstacles in your way and the only way to get past them is to dodge or destroy them. Enemies can come at you from the ground level or the air and your job is to press the corresponding button at the right time to overcome them. Since this is a rhythm game, all of this happens in sync with the beat, which makes it very immersive.

Working with only two buttons can feel a little limited at first, but also keeps things nice and relaxing, at least on the “Easy” difficulty. In addition to tapping the buttons at the right time, you’ll also face certain obstacles that require you to tap and hold a button or press both buttons at the same time. Every now and then there are also bigger enemies that come your way, which requires you to button mash a bit in order to beat them. Higher difficulty levels also require you to combine moves, so you might have to hold down your aerial attack button while also performing the occasional ground attack to defeat enemies trying to sneak by. Then there are ghost enemies that turn invisible and bosses that hurls at enemies and obstacles in your way. Reaching the end of each song is easy enough, but you’ll want to hit as many consecutive enemies as possible without getting hit yourself in order to build up your combo. Getting hit or missing an enemy resets your combo, which blows your chances of getting the coveted “Full Combo” at the end of the stage.

Getting hit doesn’t just reset your combo, but also costs you health, which ends the song prematurely if you run out. Thankfully, some enemies carry hearts that refill your health if you defeat them. Accuracy also matters, so for higher scores and a shot at the leaderboards you’ll want to hit each enemy as perfectly as possible. It will also help you to fill up your “Fever” gage faster, which when activated boosts your points even more.

There are a couple of other things that add more depth to Muse Dash as well. These are character skins and “elfins” which can be unlocked by collecting items as you level up. These skins and elfins, which are basically pets that float above your character during levels, all have an impact on the game or your score. For example, you start out with a character, called Rin, who is wearing her default bassist skin where she runs around with a guitar. Unlock her “bad girl” skin and she’ll be sporting a different outfit, complete with baseball bat. The difference is not just cosmetic either as Rin has 50 extra HP in her default skin, but sacrifices this for the ability to turn up to three “Great” judgments into “Perfect” ones. There are a total of three different girls in the game, but a whole host of very cute skins for each of them. Then there are the elfins, such as the little nurse that can restore your health and the dragon girl who bumps up your score when knocking back boss attacks. Combining the right skin with the right elfin can have a big impact on your score, which makes it very addictive to unlock all of them. The way in which the unlocks work is that you get a choice between two random objects each time you level up and once you have collected enough of a certain object you’ll gain access to the corresponding skin or elfin. It’s a great way to keep players coming back for more and to keep things fresh even after playing for hours.

The best way to describe the visuals in Muse Dash would be adorable as the cute art style and beautiful girls combined with the vivid colors makes it very eye catching. If you are a fan of anime or manga, then the visuals will definitely put a smile on your face. The game does feature a couple of seductive outfits for the girls and some fan service, but overall it’s relatively tame. We love the cute designs of the enemies as well and it’s almost feels like a shame to bash some of them. The animations are also very smooth, but we would have liked to see a bit more variety for the backgrounds. The ones on offer look great, but it’s not long before they start repeating.

One area where Muse Dash excels is the audio as the soundtrack is by far one of the best that we have heard for the genre. There is not a single song on the playlist that we didn’t like and most of them are so catchy that they will be stuck in your head long after you have stopped playing. There’s some nice variety to with a mixture of Japanese and Chinese pop songs along with some dance tracks and even few dubstep sounding tunes. Some of our favorite tracks in the game are by TetraCalyx and 3R2, but there are also some stellar tunes by M2U, Haloweak, Tianyou and others. The game features 40 tracks in total, which is an absolute steal for the price and kept us entertained for hours. Players who can’t get enough can also purchase the “Just as Planned” DLC, which features an additional 13 music packs with six songs each. The price is substantially more than the base game, but well worth it. In addition to being extremely catchy, the songs also never overstay their welcome, so it will take a long time to tire of them. Thanks to three difficulty settings, with different challenges and leaderboards for each one, the game has a ton of replay value.

Mobile ports tend to not be very well received on PC, but we have absolutely no issues with Muse Dash. It looks great in high definition and the controls work just as well with a keyboard or controller as it did on a touch screen. The game also allows players to adjust the resolution, play in full screen or windowed mode, set the frame rate and toggle special effects to low or high. It also has a setting to adjust the background brightness, which is a nice touch. Most importantly, you are able to adjust the offset to compensate for any delays caused by your monitor.

Overall, there is very little that we can fault about Muse Dash apart from the fact that owners of the mobile version cannot transfer the DLC that they have already purchased over to the Steam version. You can however sync your mobile account with your Steam account for stuff like levels, characters, pets, song collections and so on. Considering the very reasonable asking price, it is really a no brainer to purchase Muse Dash if you are a fan of the genre or even just interested in it. The game is very newcomer friendly and extremely addictive. It is also entertaining enough that leveling up to unlock new tracks, characters, and pets never feel like a grind. If manga and anime is not your thing and you don’t like “kawai” aesthetics, then you might not love it as much, but everyone else should definitely give it a go.

System Requirements

  • OS: Windows 7 or later
  • Processor: Intel Core™ Duo or faster
  • Memory: 2 GB RAM
  • Graphics: DirectX® 9 Compatible Graphics Card
  • Storage: 600 MB available space
  • OS: OS X Lion 10.7, or later.
  • Processor: Intel Mac
  • Memory: 2 GB RAM
  • Graphics: Intel® HD Graphics or better
  • Storage: 1 GB available space
  • OS: OS X Lion 10.7, or later.
  • Processor: Intel Mac
  • Memory: 4 GB RAM
  • Graphics: Intel® HD Graphics or better
  • Storage: 1 GB available space

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1 Comment

  1. Splinteredninja June 22, 2019
    Reply

    I loved this on my phone and will be getting it again on Steam if they add wallpapers and emoticons.

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