Back in the early 00's when arcades were rapidly dying out in suburban America, my friends and I would trek to the mall where the last arcade in Wayne, NJ lived. We weren't there for Street Fighter, and we sure as hell weren't there for Time Crisis 3... we were there for Dance Dance Revolution!
I can't prove what I'm about to say, but I'm pretty sure that DDR machine was what kept that arcade alive for the last couple years until it finally closed in 2007. Maybe it's just my memory, but there were always hoards of teenage kids around the DDR machine. Kids we're so hyped and so competitive that they would actually stand behind the players, dancing, to practice for their turn.
The arcade atmosphere of the DDR generation can be perfectly summed up in one music video:
So put your jazz fingers to work with these awesome music games brought to you by Modojo!
1. Tap Tap Radiation
Like Flash Flash Revolution before it and the indomitable DDR (where it all started), Tap Tap Radiation offers an outlet through which you can tap your favorite songs to your heart's content. Tapulous is responsible for music games on the App Store that consistently knock it out of the park, so it's not a surprise that Radiation only expands upon an already great formula. Rather than adopting Guitar Hero-like lanes that work like Tap Tap Revenge, Radiation works more like an interactive soundscape that sends gorgeous fireworks exploding across the screen. It comes packing 30 songs to get you started with a very agreeable price point of $2.99 per song pack, so there's going to be tons of content to tide you over. By far one of the best-looking games on the list, Tap Tap Radiation is an excellent rhythm game.
Chances are, you've probably already been enjoying this deceptively simple social app. It's chock-full of different genres of music for you to test your (hopefully) encyclopedic kowledge of song trivia. It's simple -- you choose a genre and you're randomly matched with an opponent in order to test your skills. The object is to be the quickest to identify all songs in a set. High-quality clips will play in succession and you need lightning-fast reflexes to score higher and win miniature match-ups. The app is free if you go with the Lite version, and you can quickly unlock new song packs. It's extremely easy to find others to play with, as well. Plus, it gives you an excuse to have cheesy '80s tunes blaring from your phone.
3. Groove Coaster
Taito threw their hat into the ring with Groove Coaster, a gorgeous and inventive rhythm game with the rare ability to make every song played feel like a new and unique experience. Including thumping beats and remixed Space Invaders and Arkanoid tunes as well as a varied soundtrack, Groove Coaster managed to find a fantastic way to represent each tune in a visual manner. Retro-futuristic graphics and three different levels of difficulty ensure you're glued to the screen at all times, and who wouldn't be? The only thing it's missing is the ability to import songs, but with such a varied library, you won't be worrying about that for long.