Muse Dash is a gorgeous, colourful rhythm game that recently made its way from mobile platforms onto Switch and PC. It’s addictive, fast, but most of all, it’s a hell of a lot of fun.
With simple two-button (or touch screen) controls, you’ll tap to the beat of the music to fight enemies and mini bosses. It sounds very simple, but once you get started you won’t be able to put it down. The “fighting enemies” element of the game also means you have a HP bar, which will deplete if you miss a beat and take a hit, making this a little different to “traditional” rhythm games.
The music selection is incredible; a lot of which is very fast paced, but there’s some good variety in there too. There are songs with heavy bass drops, some that sound like retro video game music, and some which have beautiful piano melodies. There’s definitely going to be something you’ll like in there, and regardless of your taste in music, all these songs are a lot of fun to play along to. The Switch version of the game comes with all the past DLC songs included, and on PC the DLC will be available separately.
You can pick from three girls to play as, Rin, Buro and Marija, who are all cute and colourful, and have different passive skills that’ll impact the gameplay. They all have unlockable costumes too, which also have different skills, such as earning higher scores when you’re above a certain combo number, or being able to survive for a while past when you would have lost due to losing all your HP. The variety of these skills means that different characters and costumes will be useful for different songs; if one song is very fast and you find yourself taking too many hits, a skill that keeps you alive for a bit longer might be just what you need to clear it.
Characters’ skills can also be stacked with equippable creatures called Elfins, which you can unlock through levelling up. They also have passive skills, so you can choose your favourites to combine with your playable character’s skills, and adapt to different situations using them.
One topic that can’t be avoided is the designs of the characters. Particularly in their different costumes, you’ll notice there are some very revealing designs and poses, and suggestive dialogue if you “talk” to them on the main menu. It’s clearly a selling point for some people, but others may find it off-putting, and it’s worth bearing in mind before you decide to buy the game. However, this doesn’t affect the gameplay at all (in game, the designs look more harmless), it’s all an aesthetic choice, so if you’re neutral to it, you won’t find it affecting your experience with the actual rhythm game at all.
There’s plenty in this game to keep you coming back for more. For the sake of good journalism (and definitely not because I’ve been absolutely addicted to this for the past couple of weeks), I went through and unlocked everything the game had to offer; songs, character costumes, Elfins, and illustrations (which when unlocked, become loading screens). The unlockable songs stop after level 55, which will only take you a few hours to get to (but there are PLENTY of non-unlockable songs to go at on the Switch version). However, the other collectibles stopped at around level 130, which was 10-15 hours in. That, on top of the different difficulties of the songs to have a go at, and the sheer addictive nature of the game, will have you hooked for hours.
The only complaint that I had with the actual gameplay is that long notes (where you hold the button) seem to be a lot more precise on when you have to hit them than all the other notes. Notes can be hit with a “Perfect” (very good timing) or “Great” (slightly off timing) before being missed. However, the long notes just seem to be a lot easier to miss when they’re not supposed to be, which can be frustrating when it breaks your combo and you really feel like you should have got it. It’s worth noting that I’ve been playing the Switch version, so I’m not sure if this is the same on the PC version.
Overall, this game is an absolute blast, and if you’re looking for a colourful new rhythm game, look no further. The game’s page on the Switch eShop also says to stay tuned for continuous free updates, so the content it has to offer is also ever expanding. Give it a go, and you’re bound to have a lot of fun.