Hello Kitty and Friends Happiness Parade [Switch] Review – Reckless Rhythm

The Good

Cute characters

Form of character progression

Challenges to work through

The Bad

Lackluster music

Frustrating rhythm mechanics

Unfun roguelike elements


In this review, I’ve made sure to be completely transparent with how I feel about the game despite my expectations before playing. I’ve included my opinions on the overall music design in the game, as well as the core gameplay. However, despite my reservations, please take my personal feelings with a grain of salt – you may enjoy the game!

I must admit, I’m a bit conflicted on this one. On the outside, it looks like a shiny new, adorable Sanrio game. But once I actually started to play it, I found myself equally frustrated and bored. I can’t quite decide if this is supposed to be a children’s game or if its target audience is for all ages.

Hello Kitty and Friends Happiness Parade is a rhythm-based game that features a range of characters from the beloved Sanrio franchise. Walk to the rhythm, avoid obstacles, and utilise special abilities. Progress through the game to unlock additional characters and songs! For information on the game, visit the Google Play page.

Expectations Versus Reality

I’m either bad at the game, or it’s unreasonably hard even when playing the easy levels. If this game was made with the intention of marketing it to children, I very much doubt that they would manage to understand the gameplay mechanics. I’m not trying to undermine children’s intellect, but the controls in general and the beat-matching feel very off at times.

I’ve been playing rhythm games for quite some time now, so I’ve seen a lot of different styles within the genre. On one hand, you’ve got the classic Rhythm Paradise on handheld consoles, Project Sekai on mobile, and the ever-popular Osu.

I didn’t launch Hello Kitty and Friends Happiness Parade expecting it to be strong competition against these titles, but I was hoping for something at least a little substantial. However, it’s not all negative, maybe the game just isn’t for me, but there’s just something about this game that doesn’t scratch that satisfying feeling that you get from receiving a perfect score on a rhythm game.

Dance to the Beat… or Not

A big part of rhythm games is the music, obviously. So, when a rhythm game features pretty bland and generic music, it can be hard to get into the groove – literally. The music in Hello Kitty and Friends Happiness Paradise is lackluster at best, and I assume won’t be most people’s cup of tea.

Rhythm games thrive off of intense soundtracks such as off-the-wall electronic beats or harmonious vocals. The music in this game sounds like something you’d hear on the Disney Channel – but at least Hannah Montana’s music was good.

Cute Characters Can Only Go So Far

There’s also a form of character building, with the option to level up specific characters. This, in turn, increases their stats, and you can even customise a character with a new outfit or headpiece when you have the right amount of coins.

I’m not ashamed to admit that I do love Sanrio as a whole, always have, and always will. So the opportunity to customise my favourite characters from the franchise does appeal to me. Sadly, there are not that many options available.

There is some sense of game progression in a way, with the ability to unlock new characters when you reach certain milestones. Each character has their own special moves for the dancefloor and can be used to help you during a level. I also quite like that the game does offer you the chance to choose between Normal Mode and Auto-Dance Mode, though the latter seems a bit pointless considering the fact that it takes all of the rhythm out of a rhythm game.

Roguelike Rhythm Game?

The game itself has plenty of levels to play through, but it can be tedious when you get taken back to the start of the map when you fail a level. Tying in with what I mentioned about the music before, the songs do get pretty grating when you have to listen to them multiple times when restarting a run – it almost feels like a roguelike with rhythm elements.

One of the things I enjoy the most in rhythm games is the ability to choose which songs I want to play through, you don’t exactly get much of a choice in Hello Kitty and Friends Happiness Parade.

Hello Kitty and Friends Happiness Parade Review – Conclusion

In short, I really wanted to enjoy this game. In my opinion, the game is definitely perfect for children, as I don’t think they’d be as negatively inclined as I am in regard to the soundtrack. Though the difficulty does tend to spike at times, so I’m not too sure how a child could complete an entire run, even on the “easier level”.

I adore Sanrio, and on paper, a Sanrio rhythm game that features popular characters sounds great – it’s just a shame that the music doesn’t.

For more information about the game, visit the official Google Play page or the App Store – please keep in mind that the game is only available for Netflix customers!

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