With Queen: Rock Tour just released, I decided to give the mobile rhythm game a shot. Here are my first impressions of Queen: Rock Tour.
Disclaimer: While I am not a diehard fan of Freddie Mercury and/or Queen, I do appreciate some of their songs. Fans might have a differing view of Queen: Rock Tour, but I am writing this first impressions article as someone with few hundreds of hours of rhythm game playtime under my belt (Muse Dash, Project Diva, Guitar Hero, Dance Dance Revolution, etc).
Guitar Hero Throwback
It is obvious that Queen: Rock Tour shares quite a few similarities with the Guitar Hero series. Gameplay-wise, both games feature notes which approach the player from the top of the screen. Both games also feature the mechanic where getting enough Perfect inputs fills up a gauge that increases multiplier score when active. Furthermore, upon messing up a note, the audio also reflects the mistake, such as going off-tune. Setting-wise, both games are about rock and have players unlock new performance venues and attire.
However, Queen: Rock Tour has a nice little difference in its gameplay. Each colour of note corresponds to a different Queen band member. The pattern of notes also feels distinct enough between member to member. For example, Roger Taylor on the drums typically has more quick rapid-fire sequences.
Beyond that, there’s nothing too revolutionary regarding its gameplay and visuals. The Guitar Hero-esque approach to tapping and holding notes is solid and fulfils its purpose of engaging the player to the music.
Aesthetically, the band members, their unlockable costumes and performance venues have a cartoonish look to them. It took me some time to get used to the band members’ wobble-head looking appearances, but once the notes start coming, they don’t really matter anyway.
The Legacy of Queen
When the game displayed a pretty well-edited video of iconic Queen images, I was taken aback momentarily. Rarely do we ever see real-life images in our video games.
However, considering that this is the official Queen mobile rhythm game, it makes total sense. It is extremely obvious that a great deal of time and research was placed in trying to create the Queen experience on mobile beyond just playing their songs.
The game’s story mode chronicles the band’s meteoric rise to fame through tours, beginning with Queen/Queen II in London and ending with A Kind of Magic, also in London. Players get to experience Queen’s journey as they visited various locations such as Tokyo, Munich and of course, Rio de Janeiro.
Furthermore, in the Memories tab, fans of the band will be ecstatic to find real-life images of Queen. Basically an album, these images really immortalise the band and its key moments with a short written backstory to each image. Players can unlock more of these digital Queen memorabilia by completing songs in the Tour mode.
In summary, the game is a love letter to the band true and true. Featuring beautifully edited trailers to each tour and album cover images in the practice mode, the developers clearly did their homework on the band.
The Outstanding Song Collection
Queen is a band with a rich history. After all, how often do bands or singers get their own feature film? With more than 100 songs under its belt, you would expect to play most of them in the game.
Regrettably, there are only 20 playable songs available in Queen: Rock Tour. On the plus side, these songs are some of the band’s greatest, such as Bohemian Rhapsody, Radio Ga Ga and We Are the Champions. As such, expect to listen to some of the finest tunes ever made by the band as you tap away on your screen.
However, 20 tracks still feel too little for a rhythm game. Considering that each song lasts an average of 4 minutes, that’s just over an hour of gameplay, ignoring various difficulty settings. Ideally, the game will offer more songs in the future, but there does not seem to be any indication of this.
Unfortunately, most of the game’s content is locked behind a paywall. The free version of the game only allows players to play up until the first tour. Beyond that, players will need to pay RM 12.99 (around $3.20 USD) to be able to unlock all the remaining songs and tours.
Thus, it really depends on how much you love Queen to play 17 more songs in a rhythm game. The Memories that players unlock are also hard to pinpoint with an accurate value. The true value of the game depends on how much you want to support Universal Music Group, and of course, Queen.
By comparison, other rhythm games on the market contain offer more content for a cheaper price. For example, Cytus II has hundreds of playable songs all for the cheap price of $1.99 USD.
For my first impressions, Queen: Rock Tour is a solid albeit short rhythm game that pays a lot of respect to the titular band. Fans of Queen should definitely give the game a shot as it is free. If it sticks with you, then you may choose to pay for the full experience. Otherwise, nothing is stopping you from listening to Queen’s music on Spotify.