Xbox One, PS4, PC, Nintendo Switch, PS5, Xbox Series X|S,
November 14, 2023
Second Impact Games
Super Crazy Rhythm Castle, the brainchild of Second Impact Games and published by Konami, is a burst of rhythmic joy on the Nintendo Switch. This co-op game, brimming with eccentricity and vibrancy, puts Konami back in the spotlight as a purveyor of one-of-a-kind games.
Party in the Rhythm Castle
Adventuring into an absurd realm, you and up to three friends enter the Rhythm Castle controlled by the unhinged King Ferdinand. The madcap monarch, embodied as a talking rhythm-obsessed TV, inflicts a series of multifaceted tasks. Moving through the castle’s many rooms to steal the king’s crown, you’ll have to overcome every obstacle he places in your path. Throwing cans of beans into a ritual, defending yourself against a giant eggplant DJ, and playing a 2D fighting game by matching beats are just some examples you’ll need to navigate, all while keeping your head on straight.
While basic, the story serves as a delightful backdrop to the game’s musical mayhem. It unfolds as you embark on the mission to conquer the Rhythm Castle with a comedic undertone prevalent throughout. Amusing dialogues and absurd scenarios will keep you grinning from ear to ear. The characters contribute to the game’s comedic charm, and the unpredictable nature of each level adds an element of surprise, making the game as humorous as it is rhythmically engaging.
The twist is you’re not just playing a rhythm game; you’re embarking on a wacky quest, solving puzzles, and engaging in co-op and competitive play. The game’s unpredictability is its charm – one moment you’re grooving to a rhythm, and the next, you’re herding rats with a magical pot and pan. The variety keeps you on your toes, adding to the fun.
The rhythm gameplay is simple yet enjoyable, using three buttons (shoulder buttons and a face button) to hit notes. Although straightforward, it quickly gets complex when multiple objectives, puzzles, and obstacles are flung at you during the middle of a high-tempo song. If you’re an absolute master of rhythm games or simply enjoy chaos, you can adjust the difficulty by adding a fourth button for more of a challenge. The ability for each player to set their own difficulty level accommodates diverse skill levels within a group.
Between levels, the castle’s areas offer puzzles and exploration, making the overall experience deeper than just a minigame gambit. They aren’t overly complex and serve more as a hub level to access each rhythm game scenario. Still, these areas offer interactions with the peculiar cast of friends and acquaintances met along the way, including removing a bucket of chicken off a little creature’s head and giving them a pair of glasses so they can see and will let you pass. It’s cute and quirky in all the best ways.
The game’s co-op aspect shines, turning it into one of the best party games of 2023. Playing solo is an option, but the real magic happens when you share the pleasure with friends. Particularly when levels get way more complicated and difficult, thriving in the chaos with a friend or three is much more fun than solo anguish. What it lacks is an immobilising stomp or some other action to annoy your friends if you’re that sort of player (ie. me).
“…one of the best party games of 2023.”
On the other hand, solo play is truly neglected. The rhythm game elements are fine alone but without having a partner to help with the inevitable tasks to juggle in each level the game becomes unfairly challenging. This is a party game through and through and solo play as an option unfortunately demerits the incredibly frenzied gameplay.
The game’s replayability is commendable, with the ability to challenge friends’ scores and play tracks as pure rhythm games. A handful of versus modes are available to play with friends but they are sadly shallow and feel tacked on. Jumping back into tracks to play them purely as a rhythm game is a good time, particularly with a few of the songs that are well-made earworms. There are also hidden unlockable tracks, including a Castlevania remix that absolutely rocks. These additions add a few minor distractions to the main adventure when you and your friends want to try something new.
However, Super Crazy Rhythm Castle falters in its lack of transparency in level objectives, sometimes requiring trial and error. Not everything is as clear as it should be, which is part of the chaos, but can cause frustration when it’s a roadblock in progressing. There’s a lack of accessibility in general, particularly for players who may want written instructions.
Chaotic beats and whimsical feats
The exceptional audio and visual elements, coupled with its innovative gameplay, make Super Crazy Rhythm Castle a standout title in the rhythm party genre. The delightful world design, filled with piano walkways and a baked bean fountain, adds to the game’s consistent visual appeal.
Super Crazy Rhythm Castle envelops you in a vibrant, whimsical universe. The game’s visuals on the Nintendo Switch aren’t impressive graphically but deliver an art style perfectly synchronised with its musical theme. The castle itself is a riot of colours, featuring a manic combination of wacky, colour-blocked rooms and fantastical contraptions emerging from walls akin to the oddity of the Wonka Chocolate Factory. The cartoon designs of the characters reflect the humour of the adventure, each one exuding a unique charm that contributes to the comedic atmosphere.
The audio, however, steals the spotlight, boasting a soundtrack of over 30 original tracks spanning various genres. While these tunes might not be mainstream hits, they are undeniably catchy and well-produced, seamlessly integrating with the game’s charm. The inclusion of hidden Konami classics adds a nostalgic touch, catering to long-time gaming enthusiasts. The auditory excellence extends beyond the music, with a bouncy and jovial soundscape complementing the gameplay.
- Frantic co-op gameplay
- Amusing world and characters
- Imaginative yet challenging rhythm games
- Vibrant and creative visuals
- Limited guidance in mini games
- Playing alone is not fun
- Lacks accessibility options
Super Crazy Rhythm Castle is a hilarious music adventure best enjoyed with friends. Bursting with eccentricity, the game’s comedic narrative unfolds as you conquer the zany Rhythm Castle, grooving to a beat or herding magical rats. The game’s unpredictability keeps the fun alive. It’s certainly not for solo play and proves to be tricky to learn, but this game shows Konami can still deliver unique and memorable gaming experiences.