We took part in the closed beta for Rotaeno, an upcoming mobile rhythm game with a unique rotation control scheme—here are our impressions. Note that Rotaeno is a paid mobile game and will release on 30th May on the Google Play Store and Apple App Store.
Before I get into my impressions, do note that your mobile device needs to have gyroscope or accelerometer support in order to play Rotaeno properly.
Story and Presentation
One of the things that I really liked about Muse Dash (another rhythm game available on mobile) is the characters. Muse Dash had uniquely designed characters and the loading screen illustrations portray various scenarios for the girls to get tangled up in. There are times when I wondered—having some sort of story for the characters in the game would be nice.
Rotaeno scratches that itch very well. You have anime waifus and a story that has a lot of potential. While I couldn’t play most of it since it was just the closed beta, Chapter 1 of the game already set the tone for an enjoyable ride.
Essentially, players follow the protagonist Ilot, in her interplanetary quest to find her friend Hoppe. The story is presented through visual novel-esque cutscenes. The characters are very expressive and the production value is on par with some of the better visual novels out there. The only thing that’s missing is voice acting, but it’s already great in my books.
To progress in the story (Journey mode) and unlock new songs, players will need to play songs, obviously. The game’s tutorial does a good job at keeping players up to speed and like any good rhythm game, Rotaeno is easy to learn, but hard to master.
Basically, you’ll need to tap on your screen as notes come flying from the distance. You’ll need both thumbs (or other fingers, if that’s your preference) to do so. However, what makes Rotaeno stand out from every single other rhythm game out there is the rotation control scheme. Some of the notes require your phone to be angled properly in order to get them.
The end result is gameplay that’s pretty similar to mobile racing games. Instead of pressing on the accelerator or brakes, you’ll be tapping on whatever’s coming while “steering” your phone. It’s fun and definitely more engaging than just pure tapping.
Music and Price
As mentioned at the start, Rotaeno is a paid game. For a price of 2.99 USD on the Google Play Store and Apple App Store or 2.49 USD on TapTap, you’ll be getting 24 songs to choose from. 4 additional songs will be available for free during the game’s launch month while new song packs containing 6 songs each will release every month. Note that these song packs will have to be bought through the in-game store, so there are microtransactions.
Overall, I find the price to be pretty worth it, considering the value that you’re getting from the game. The game’s music features Japanese, Korean, Chinese and other artists. From EDM to contemporary classical, the music in this game is amazing.
Rotaeno has all the makings of the next big mobile rhythm game. It’s fun, the music’s great and there’s even a story mode where you can see cute waifus interacting with each other. What more could you ask for?
Granted, these are just my impressions of Rotaeno from the closed beta build, so there may be changes once the game officially launches. Regardless, if you’re new to rhythm games or a seasoned veteran, Rotaeno is definitely one to check out.