When you first pick up Moana: Rhythm Run you might be a little dispirited. It feels a little flat – a sort of generic two button runner that doesn’t really do anything that differently. But then things start to click.
Because the game’s beating heart is just that – a beat. While it is just a runner, it ramps things up in style, throwing in combinations of taps that join in with the music to create something a little bit special. It’s definitely a game that’s aimed at younger players, as you might expect from a tie-in with the latest Disney movie. But if your young ones are fans of the game then it’s worth giving this one a go.
The game is all about running through a series of levels. There are obstacles in your way and you need to tap to bypass them. You’ve got two buttons on the screen, and they correspond with the colours of the obstacles you’re trying to get past.
Different levels assign different actions to the buttons though. Sometimes you’re cutting down banners and leaping over fallen trees. Other times you’re pressing one button to tweak the sails of your boat and pressing the other waves your oar into the sea to bounce over waves.
But it’s the rhythm section of the game that’s the real kicker. This is definitely one of those games that isn’t kidding around when it tells you that it’s much better when you’re playing with headphones.
There’s a sensible progression system here as well. You’ll often unlock the next chunk of levels on your first run through the previous section. It means that if, or rather when, you get stuck by a tricky section, there’s always something else for you to have a crack at.
And there’s very little getting in the way of the gaming. There are a few adverts, but this is a premium game through and through. And that means there aren’t going to be any shocking bills incoming if your child gets their hands on your credit card details.
It also means there’s quite a bit of initial outlay here. And to be honest, it’s a little on the steep side. For half the price, Moana would be much easier to recommend. As it stands, while it does have plenty going on, it does feel like you’re paying a lot more than it’s actually worth.
And that’s a shame, because this is an entertaining, occasionally flawed mix of genres that after a slightly stumbling start manages to burst into life in some very interesting ways. It looks pretty good as well.
I mean, it’s not as shiny as the film looks, but there are some levels here that really burst off the screen. And when things get interesting mechanically, even if it’s just by upping the challenge, you’ll find yourself having a really lovely time. But like I say, this is very much one for gamers of less advanced years. A more seasoned player might find a few things to like, but for the asking price that really isn’t enough.
If your kids are really into the movie, then this is a good way to keep them entertained for a few hours. But even they are likely to lose interest after that. This is a fun game for a short time, but nothing more than that.