Developer/Publisher: Rayark, Inc.
Platform(s): Android, iOS
Price: Free to Play, with in-app purchases
Discovery: Google Play store
Playtime: Approx. 2 hours
Rayark, known for their hit music games Cytus and Deemo, recently released their next music title, Voez.
I think at the heart of all music games the concept is pretty much the same tap/hold/whatever to the beat. So I was curious to see what Voez would bring to the table compared to Cytus and Deemo…and it actually did deliver.
But first thing – Voez actually has a fully animated opening scene! While this is really impressive the first time around, it makes the mistake other games does – I know have to skip it each time I open the game. It’s a small thing, but what happened to the time where these scenes only played after being AFK for a set time, or something? I really don’t see the point of having it play each time.
Anyway, I’m really liking the art style for Voez. It really gives you a “slice-of-life” feel, which is…exactly what the story feels like: straight out of an anime. The story is mainly told through “diary” entries which unlock conditions, and vary from just a portrait, to a texting conversation, etc. Like with the other titles, the story is pretty minimal and isn’t that much of an integral part of the game. It’s up to the player themselves to figure out, if they choose to.
From what I unlocked so far – and well, the official website pretty much reveals most of it, the story is about a group of high school students in the fictional coastal town of Lan Kong, who come together and form a band, aiming for pop stardom! Sounds like a few anime series I’ve seen already, haha. Another cool thing that I’ve found out is that there is a REAL Voez café in Taiwan, though I’m not sure which is inspired after which. 😛
As for the actual gameplay, the core of it is in fact tapping/sliding/whatever to the beat, but what Voez introduces is the fact that there are multiple “lanes” you must keep track of, and they actually move and change color, and all that jazz. While it definitely adds to the visual experience, it can also be another layer of difficulty as keys can suddenly change from one lane to the next as they slide across the screen.
Another thing that Voez does differently is how songs are unlocked. Each week there is actually a free rotation of songs that are temporarily unlocked for you to play. However, to truly own a song, you must use a key (that are cutely in the shape of a bird). Keys are occasionally given for free after meeting certain conditions, but I’ve yet to figure out if it’s entirely possible to unlock ALL or at least a lot of songs by just playing for free. Otherwise, it seems to lean heavily in having you pay for keys. Given just how much I absolutely love Rayark’s games, I’m fine with that. ; ~ ; (“Give Money” says the splash art for Entrance in Deemo, and indeed do I give.)
Like with any Rayark song, there are multiple levels of difficulty, ranging from Easy, Hard, and Special. If I had to place them in order of difficulty, Voez is definitely at the top, followed by Deemo, then Cytus. There’s just so many different things to do and be aware of. It almost feels like a combination of the previous 2.
Things I’m iffy with:
- Avatars. There’s like over a hundred avatars with a couple defaults already unlocked. But the rest seem to be only earned gacha style with 1 key = 3 random avatars. But…WHY would I want them if they serve no purpose other than visually? There’s no reason.
- Leaderboard. That’s a joke, as the top thousand or so are just perfect scores. I don’t see any reason for this unless you’re definitely camping to be THE FIRST or something. Whereas other games have meanginful measurements, such as ones with no set cap (where in Voez it’s a fairly achievable perfect score) or is measured by speed runs, etc. Voez does not have this so even placing on leaderboard doesn’t feel like an accomplishment because thousands of others did so and way before me.
- Keys. Apparently to fully unlock this game as is, it costs $40. Woah. And odds are that’s not including any future songs to be added. Based on what I’ve played so far keys are very sparsely given, though some of this is alleviated with a “free” rotation.
• Add up/down arrows to make song selection easier, it’s kind of awkward.
• I should be able to just tap anywhere on the song to play, or at least make it more clear that I have to tap the difficulty level.
• C-can I get more keys?
With the songs that are out so far (about 50 of them), I’ve only found a handful that I genuinely like, and Cytus still remains as my favorite game out of the bunch so far. Here’s the first song I used my key on:
Will I continue playing this game? Absolutely. I’m glad I can turn to Rayark for quality music games. Voez has only been out for a few days now, so I really look forward to what it has to offer in the future.