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First Look: Rhythm Hive

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HYBE has finally released their rhythm game, Rhythm Hive, featuring their artists including BTS, TxT, and Enhypen. As a frequent player of K-Pop games and a fan of BTS, I knew I had to give this a try and share my initial thoughts on the game.

UPDATE 3/22/22: Rhythm Hive has changed quite a bit since the beta days that this post is written on. While the UI looks different now and there are more extra features now, the basic game modes and mechanics remain the same as this post.

Basic Gameplay

As with many other rhythm games, the objective is to get the highest score. You do so by tapping, trailing, and long pressing where indicated to the beat of the song. That is pretty straightforward as a whole. There are different modes in Rhythm Hive that makes the game stand out from its counterparts. In each mode you can change the difficulty and customize your stage. You can also choose between doing the full song or short version. The fact they have a full song option is really great since most rhythm games never have the entire song.

Gameplay Modes

The first is the live stage mode, which you can see in the video above. You are paired with other players to form the group and each player represents a member they chose. At the end, the points are tallied and someone is awarded the best performer. It is an interesting and different way to do a competitive mode as opposed to the common league system. I really like this idea and how they’ve built it.

The second mode is the studio mode, which is the single player mod. It is can be played as a practice area for the live stage, but missions will ask you to complete challenges here too.

The third mode is the mix mode where you can create a blend of three songs that will piece together into one playable track. You can also customize your mix by changing the difficulty, speed, and more for each individual song. So if you want your first song to be easy, the second normal, and the third hard, you can do that. Once you’ve completed your mix, it goes up for a few hours to be playable by other players. During that time you can’t make a new mix. Initially, I wanted the mix to be solely a single-player thing and you can make a new mix as much as you want. But I do enjoy the sharing aspect, so maybe if they added a studio version of mix, much like they have for the live stage, that would be nice.

Extra Features

There is a card collecting system that helps you earn more points on specific members of groups. And these cards are divided into different groupings based on what album it is. So when you play a song from a specific album, it utilizes the cards of that specific album as well. You get cards from card packs and you can upgrade them as well. This is fairly standard across other K-Pop rhythm games and the system isn’t original, but works.

A unique aspect Rhythm Hive has is that you choose an artist to play as and you can upgrade them over time, and by upgrading them you can earn rewards like the different types of in game currency. I haven’t dived in to see how upgrading artists makes an impact to game play, but it is a fascinating addition.

I’ve mentioned earlier about missions. There are daily and weekly missions that you can earn rewards for, as well as ones for the whole season. Special events also occur. All of these are great ways to get currency and upgrades to better your cards and scoring.

Where To Improve

Here is my one complaint so far. For Rhythm Hive the indicators are these jewel shapes, and I honestly dislike that they are this shape instead of a circle. I have a hard time determining where to tap, whether it should be on the jewel as it reaches the bar or in the space below it, and the tutorial never explained it. There are also some timing moments that can be weird and I have fiddled with their touch sync options and they aren’t very good or easy to use. This is a brand new game and touch sync tends to take some time to really develop and get right, so I give them the benefit of the doubt.

Overall, Rhythm Hive has gone above and beyond the standard rhythm game to make a unique experience for fans of HYBE artists. I love that you can play full songs, I enjoy the mix mode and the unique way of doing competitive gameplay. They can improve some things of course, and have been actively doing so. It has been an enjoyable game and I look forward to seeing what they do with it in the future.

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Read my review of Season 1 and the official release here.

Have you given Rhythm Hive a try yet? Share your first impressions in the comments.

*4/22/22 Update: Added additional information for the gameplay to better reflect the current version.


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