osu! is a music-rhythm game from Ppy Pty Ltd and was originally released on the PC on the 16th September 2007 and was later released on mobile devices. osu! is one of, if not the most popular free to play music-rhythm game on the market and continues to grow each and every day in terms of its player-base. While Ppy are known only for this game, they’ve been a consistent developer in its space and have constantly worked to improve the overall title.
You can download osu! by clicking the Download button at the end of the review. The game offers also downloadable bitmaps and skins.
With osu! being a solely music-rhythm game, there is absolutely no story to speak of whatsoever, but it does have the benefit of a nearly endless selection of tracks. Just like any good music-rhythm game, the player needs the option to pick whatever song they like and play it to their heart’s content. When it comes to osu! that is exactly the case, as players from all around the world are given the tools to create beatmaps for players to use and jam out to their favorite song.
The general gameplay loop for osu! is designed to be deceptively simple. All the player has to do is drag their mouse onto one of the circles – which represent a beat in the song – and then click it when the outline around it encloses perfectly to get the optimal score and to successfully play along to the song properly. While the idea of clicking these circles in time to the song is incredibly simple to grasp; perfecting it, on the other hand, is another matter. With each beatmap (many of them in anime style), the skill required can be incredibly varied from ridiculously easy to practically impossible. osu! is designed to test the player’s hand-eye coordination, along with their sense of rhythm to optimize their score.
To keep player’s coming back over and over again on a song is the use of the score meter. How it works is simple: every successful circle you hit increases the multiplier, similar to how it works in Guitar Hero. As soon as the player misses one of those circles or mistimes it completely, the multiplier gets reset to 0 and must start over again. By the end of the song, the player is then given an overall score, along with their marks on how well they did, coercing them into another go to try and improve. These leaderboards aren’t only local, however, and can be sorted between regional and global to see just who the best of the best really is.
When it comes to the gameplay style, osu! isn’t really like any other game, but the easiest comparison to make would be other easy to learn, hard to master titles, such as Rockband or Guitar Hero. Both of these games use many of the same mechanics and gameplay loops; just with plastic guitars instead of a mouse and keyboard.
For fans of the music-rhythm genre, osu! is a great title to pick up, as it basically gives the player an excuse to listen to some of their favorite songs, all while experiencing the satisfaction of playing along. Before too long, the advent of improvement takes over and the player becomes hooked, similar to how Guitar Hero pulled that off when it first came out.