My Favorite Rhythm Game Series Makes Its Stunning (and Stumbly) iPhone Debut

With DJMax Technika Tune bringing a different take on Korea's premiere rhythm game to the PlayStation Vita later this month, fans of the original can score a heavy dose of track-based tapping with DJMax Ray on the iPhone, if they don't mind dealing with a bit of bugginess.

DJMax Ray is essentially an evolution of Neowiz's Tap Sonic, a DJMax derivative, with a few tweaks and without the need to connect to the internet to play. Downloading the free app gives players immediate access to four songs, with a fifth unlocked by completing all the challenges associated with that song pack. Five additional songs packs are available for $1.99 apiece, bringing the grand total to $10 for a selection of 30 different songs, each with three track settings (4, 5 and 6 line) and three difficulties.

Gameplay consists of tapping the bottom portion of the screen as notes descend. There are simple tap notes, sustained notes, and the diabolical slide notes, which require the player to follow a jagged path of notes in a line.

All the earmarks of a good DJMax game are here—brutal difficulty, gorgeous artwork and an eclectic mix of music. It's everything I wanted from a mobile entry in the series.

And a bit buggy.

I've lost my challenge progress three times since I started playing. I've had to remind the game that I purchased all the song packs at least three times. It's amazingly frustrating not being able to just boot up and play without worrying about losing everything.

But I still play, and I play ravenously. The problems with the title are pretty substantial, but it still gives me what I need. It's an abusive relationship, but I can handle it.

DJMax Ray - Free [iTunes]