Pulse: Volume One is Cipher Prime Studios’ 3rd game, and yet again it’s all about music. After Auditorium and Fractal, this time it’s a rhythm based game. But unlike all the Rock Bands and Guitar Heros out there, you will not have to press fixed buttons with the right timing. No, Pulse features an original ring layout. The great thing about this layout is that it can be adapted to a song’s time signature. So if there’s a song with a 4/4 time signature, Pulse will use 4 or 8 rings. If the song’s got a 3/4 you’ll have to deal with 6 rings. Brilliant.
Right now, Pulse comes with 8 songs, with the difficulty being the songs themselves. The difficulty gradually increases with each song up to a point where it requires finger-bending magic to clear them with 100%. For me, it became pretty difficult once the game requires you to tap different notes at the same time while they are moving into opposite directions. If you spend enough time with it, Pulse will clearly turn you into the master of multi-touch. Check out our gameplay video below to get an idea of how Pulse works.
Now, you might say 8 songs for $4.99 sounds a bit steep. And it actually would, if Cipher Prime didn’t already promise to add 4 new songs every month for free! The devs are working closely with local artists to get all sorts of genres into Pulse. The 8 songs you get right now are all produced in-house by Cipher Prime themselves. But worry not, these guys have proven more than once that they’ve got a talent for putting hypnotizing tracks together. And they have nailed it again in Pulse. Each song has a distinguish mood and oftentimes I couldn’t help but immediately replay them, that’s how catchy they are. But it’s not just the Songs that are outstanding, it’s the whole package. The presentation is also great, with a very minimalistic and clean design.
But before you storm to the App Store to get this game I have to ask you for one thing: Please, please play this game with headphones! Cipher Prime clearly has put a lot of effort into their songs, it would be a waste to play them through the iPad speaker. That said, I can fully recommend Pulse: Volume 1. It’s definitely one of the best rhythm games I have played so far.