Groove Coaster for iOS is one of my two favorite games for the iPhone, the other being Tiny Wings. It’s this weird Japanese music game that’s essentially dance dance revolution, but for your finger. You can play it with one hand, and if you hook up your iPhone to your home stereo it’s absolutely mind blowing. It also runs on the iPad, but since I don’t own one it’s hard to say whether or not it scales well to a 9.7 inch screen. Anyway, it’s currently $0.99 in the App Store, making it a tremendous bargin, especially now that version 2.0 is out. TAITO Corporation, the developers behind Groove Coaster, added 5 new songs in this latest version, one of which is a trance version of the famous Jingle Bells melody. Each song has 3 difficulty levels (easy, normal, hard) and you’re given a letter grade once you finish a track. Better grades gets you better points, which translates to upgrades that help you achieve higher scores or even let you tweak the look and feel of levels.
The bigger question here is would Groove Coaster have become such a cult hit if it had launched on a more traditional gaming platform such as the Nintendo DS? Having owned a DS, one of my favorite games on that device was “Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan” (see video below), which is again a weird Japanese rhythm game that you play with a stylus. iNiS, the company who made the game, have yet to make a game for iOS, and that’s a tremendous shame. Groove Coaster is unique in terms of visual styling, but the game play elements have clearly been influenced by the work iNiS has done. Why doesn’t iNiS take charge and show the the world what they can do on one of the world’s most popular mobile gaming platforms?
That question haunts me at night.