Square Enix Finds Redemption for Demons' Score with Symphonica

I was terribly disappointed with the way Square Enix priced iNiS's rhythm game, Demons' Score. So disappointed that when I heard the company had released another iNiS rhythm game on iOS I almost didn't bother. Between the free initial download and the stirring sounds of Dvorak's New World Symphony my tenuous convictions crumbled, and I am so incredibly glad they did.

Honestly there was no question that Symphonica was getting downloaded onto my iPad. Despite the high price tag of Demons' Score souring my overall experience I still have faith in Elite Beat Agents developer iNiS to create compelling works of interactive music. Fueled by 50 different pieces of classical music (20 full performances and 30 excerpts), there was no way this could possibly end up being a bad game.

The player is cast in the role of Takt, a young composer in the city of music, aiming to craft a rag-tag band of musicians into a force to be reckoned with. He wants to make it to the Conducting World Series (it's not called that) and confront his long-lost brother, who seems to have taken a turn for the evil.

There's much more story here that there needs to be, especially with such simple and compelling gameplay. Rather than tapping on notes as they pop up on the screen, the play may tap anywhere they please. They aren't playing music, they are directing it, so it's less about notes and more about tempo. From simple finger taps to prolonged two-finger notes that split apart and back together again, this is an amazing way to experience classical music.

The only thing that could have ruined Symphonica was the price. Thankfully Square Enix kept things modest. The universal app is a free download, with the first three chapters and a tutorial included. You can buy chapter four by itself for $2.99, grab a set of 4-7 or 8-epilogue for $6.99, or just buy everything for $14.99 and be done with it.

Perhaps Square Enix is learning from its mistakes. Perhaps this is just a fluke. Either way, enjoy Symphonica. I certainly am.

Symphonica - Free [iTunes]