Boom Shake for iPhone Is Shaking Up the Rhythm Game Genre

Boom Shake [rating: 4/5]

If you think that Boom Shake is just going to be another rhythm game in the same style as all the other, a tap here and shake there etc… then you are in for a surprise. The fact that you swipe your finger left or right to hit the notes rather than tapping them isn’t a huge departure from other similar apps but what sets this game a part from the others is the fact that you get to play the game with your own tracks from your iPhone/iPod touch music libraries meaning that you can play along with your favorite tracks rather than being limited to tracks in the game. That’s the claim at least, so how does it work?

You play the game in the same way as so many other rhythm type games, notes in time with the beat of the track you are playing travel done the screen and as they reach the bottom you touch them to earn points. In Boom Shake rather than tapping them you swipe left or right across the bottom of the screen or shake the iPhone/iPod touch depending on the type of shape that the note is.

Boom Shake iPhone iPad Game ReviewYou get to calibrate your moves at the start of the game and the controls work really well and they are very responsive especially when a lot of notes need to be hit in quick succession as you don’t need to lift your finger off of the device as in other similar titles. As with a lot of these game RSI can be a bit of an issue and certainly after playing a couple of songs my hand did begin to ache.

The game looks nice, strong, slick graphics and nice animations make playing the game enjoyable, while the idea of playing with your own tracks seems like a great idea in reality it doesn’t work in practice quite as well as I’d hope.

You can only play with the tracks that are already on your iPhone if notes have been created for them and you can download them to sync up with your songs. Now I don’t have a massive music library and perhaps my musical tastes don’t match that of Boom Shake but I was able to find one track that had notes available for it so I clicked to play and the notes were downloaded. The problem with matching your own library with that of the tracks available to download is that you can only search 25 tracks at a time and so for people with even a relatively small music library such as mine the time to find a match can be quite long and tiresome.

Downloading notes to match the songs you already own will cost you ‘Booms’ the games currency. You start the game with 115 Booms and each set of notes you download will cost you 5 of those Booms. You can then purchase additional Booms via in game purchases or earn Booms by getting high scores or by uploading your own notes for others to download. 115 Booms to start with is a decent amount and should get you going especially if you have songs in your library that have notes available to download.

Boom Shake iPhone iPad Game Review_2If you don’t have many tracks you can easily browse the range of songs that are available and you can click on the link to download the track directly from iTunes, after paying for it of course!

I initially played the game by downloading the notes to an existing track, Queens “Somebody to Love“. Within 30 seconds I was playing the game and with a choice of Kid, Normal, Hard and Extreme I chose Normal mode. The notes traveled down the track and as they pass over the target bar at the bottom of the page I was able to swipe left, right, clockwise and anti-clockwise circles and shake the iPhone in time to the beats. Unfortunately though the notes weren’t in time with my song and therefore it was difficult to keep in time.

However, this is where Boom Shake really comes into it’s own. With any notes that you download you can adjust the start time for the notes in relation to your track and after adjusting the start time for Queen “Somebody to Love”, my second attempt resulted in a much higher score as the timing of the notes to the music was now spot on.

The game also allows you to upload your own notes and earn Booms for spending later. The process for creating your own notes couldn’t be simpler either. First you navigate through your library of songs to choose the one you want to record your notes for and then start the track playing. The available types of notes then appear at the bottom of the screen and as th track plays you simply tap the required not in time with the music, very much like you are playing the game yourself.

Boom Shake iPhone iPad Game Review_3You can stop the track, skip back and forward and manually remove and re-record the notes if you need to but the process is so simple that after a couple of attempts you’ll be laying down notes very easily especially if it’s a track you know well.

The track you record will automatically be given a ranking of Kid, Normal, Hard or Extreme depending on the number and frequency of notes that you have set and to prevent from anything being uploaded you then have to play the track in game mode and record a score of 80% or higher.

The one downside to this game is that it doesn’t have the level of social integration of others similar games with only an online scoreboard available to compare you skills with others, no chat, social media integration or multi-player options available at present.

If enough people take the time to upload their own tracks this game could be a huge hit as playing a game with songs that you know and love rather than being restricted to the songs the developers of the game are licensed to use will make it much more enjoyable to play. iPhone  Gamers, it’s up to you to help make this great game reach it’s potential.

Boom Shake iPhone Music Game


The Good

  • Beat along to you own tunes
  • Record and upload your own tracks and earn “Money”
  • Unlimited possibilities

The Not So Good

  • Only as good as it’s players submissions
  • No multi-player modes
  • No social integration

Reviewed By: Craig Willis

Price: $0.99 (iTunes Store)
Released: Feb 22, 2010
Reviewed Version: 1.0
Size: 39.3 MB
Languages: English
© apalms
Rated 4+
Requirements: Compatible with iPhone and iPod touch. Requires iPhone OS 3.0 or later.

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