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Rhythm Control Is Big In Japan

Illustration for article titled Rhythm Control Is Big In Japan

This is not your typical story: an American and a Swede meet over the Japanese language and decide to make a video game. That game then takes the Japanese iTunes charts by storm.

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Dubbed Rhythm Control, the game has players touch bubbles that appear on screen. It's simple and fun, and in Japan, it's the number one music game on iTunes. The highest it's reached on the overall paid Apps charts is number six. Impressive, indeed.

"Yeah, we got surprised over how popular it got," says Said Karlsson, one of the game's developers. He first got the idea of making a music game a few years back while working at a game company in China. Fast forward to the current day. When he met programmer Matt Scott in Tokyo, they created Daikonsoft and moved forward with the game.

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Some of the twelve songs were made by a friend of Scott's, while Karlsson, who used to DJ in Sweden, was able to approach artists he knew for licensing. "Basically I asked some artists I knew from back then if we could use their music in exchange forthem getting their bio and links to their homepages and iTunes," he says.

Part of the game's success is no doubt due to the fact that it's an enjoyable game, but also, it's done to the care Daikonsoft took in its approach to Japan, even translating the menus if the iOS device is set to Japanese. Also, the game's character, Maru-chan, might have helped the game's appeal.

Maru-chan was designed by an artist who made the rest of the game's graphics, Karlsson says. "She was supposed to appear in several places in the game, but since he suddenly got a full time job he couldn't complete everything we planned," he adds. "She's currently just on the title screen and in the tutorial."

Well, there's always the sequel.

Rhythm Control [iTunes]

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DISCUSSION

Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but rhythm games have a very long running history in Japan. Dunno what the earlier stuff was, but you can at least trace back stuff on Dreamcast... though I guess there's even older platforms which already had rhythm games.

They are specially good on mixing humor with rhythm games... Ouendan, Space Channel 5, Rhythm Tengoku, Parappa... the list goes on.

If I'm not mistaken, DDR and PIU also got famous there, along with tons of other stuff... like Pop 'n Music, Taiko Drum Master, etc (watch Lost in Translation).

It's a good bet to develop games like that for a japanese crowd, though Daikonsoft really got it right by investing on localization.