Over the years I have come to realise that the Battle Royale genre has become my go to when it comes to gaming. It all started when I dived into PUBG and I was addicted at using whatever skills it takes to be the last person standing. That game sparked many global sensations such as Fortnite, Apex Legends and even Call Of Duty Warzone. There are experiences out there that do explore the avenues of BR in wacky and wonderful ways.
Head Bangers Rhythm Royale is a game that strays away from killing each other to take the victory by using rhythm and music instead. Now if you’re a fan of the hugely popular Fall Guys, then this may be right up your street. It bears many similarities in terms of the character customisation options and its aesthetic presentation. I’m sure that developer Glee-Cheese and publisher Team 17 won’t mind me making some comparisons as the fun factor is just as fantastic.
So you may be wondering what the concept is here. You won’t be ducking and diving through various obstacle courses here. However you will be responsible for your pigeon and trying to be the winner when pitted against 29 other pigeons donning all manners of outrageous clothing. You’ll be pleased to know that Head Bangers Rhythm Royale featrues cross-platform and cross-generation online multiplayer, so the possibilities to link up with friends elsewhere is there. If you’re on Xbox then you’re in luck as the game is available to download for all for Xbox Game Pass subscribers.
You can buy the game if you’d like of course for a very reasonable cost of just under twenty english pounds. What makes it worth it at the moment is that everything seems to be earnable in game without spending any extra pennies. There is a battle pass style system that allows you to earn cosmetics and hilarious audio snippets that you can equip to your character. There are 23 mini games for you to enjoy and each match is played over the course of four very intense rounds.
When I first played the game admittedly I played with cloud gaming with the Xbox Game Pass app. I experienced issues with latency and lag and this made it unplayable due to having to be accurate with the rhythm. This downfall isn’t down to the fault of the developer or publisher, it is just down to the state of gaming over the cloud and terrible hotel wifi. What I did play at that moment was incredibly fun though and I couldn’t wait to get home and play on a more reliable connection.
Now I won’t take you through each of the minigames available as that would be ruining the element of surprise. But as you probably guessed, they all involve rhythm and memory to some extent. For instance, there is a game where the DJ plays a beat and you have to match the button presses in time with the music. There is another funny one where a snippet of music will play and you have to choose which pigeon would suit that music by what they are wearing. It is slightly more hilarious by the fact they are stood lined up like they are ready to be identified in a police station.
As each round passes by the bottom performers will unfortunately drop out of the game. Not everyone can win though eh! This is what keeps you coming back for more and keeps replayability high. The minigames get progressively more difficult and only the ones pressing the right buttons at the right time will succeed. During rounds you’ll also notice pickups that fly across the screen. Capturing these witht the right trigger will give you XP boosts, in game currency and even a leg up during the game. Be cautious though as sometimes this will trip you up and you’ll take your eye off the ball.
Visually I love how well Head Bangers Rhythm Royale is presented on screen, with bright and vibrant colours complimented the easy to understand menus. Being able to decorate your pigeon in the vast expanse of cosmetics that you can unlock through gameplay is very addictive. Seeing what you can unlock makes you want to play it even more to reach your goals. Special outfits are unlocked by completing various challenges, whereas the meat of unlockables can be gathered simply by playing consistently.
You can tell a lot of hard work has gone into the design and art work of the mini games and it must have been a logistical challenge to create. Having 30 different people pressing buttons at once and accounting for all those presses is a big achievement. The sound design is simply excellent, with the funky music seeping through to cater to those all important rhythms, they just got it bang on here. I especially love the pigeons and their witty outbursts that are very akin to the Worms games.
Head Bangers Rhythm Royale is a unique concept that has never been done before in the Battle Royale genre. Is is perfect for pick up and play in short bursts or even long sessions and after several hours I didn’t become bored at any stage. The game is currently being pushed as being in Season One, so the hope is that the minigames will be built on and even rotated to keep things fresh.
An addictive and unique take on the Battle Royale genre
- 23 minigames have great variance in different gameplay elements
- Being able to earn cosmetics through natural gameplay is amazing
- Whilst there are plenty of minigames, they could get old quickly
- May be frustrating for those who struggle with button co-ordination