DJ Rivals Android game lets MCs duke it out

by Caitlin M. Foyt

DJ Rivals feels like a mash-up between simulation games like The Sims and rhythm games like the Tap Tap Revenge series.

In this game, an evil corporation has brainwashed all musicians, and it's up to you to save the world. To do this, your character has Guitar Hero or Dance Dance Revolution style "battles" with other DJs (you have to tap out the notes — and in some cases, scratch the notes) and performs gigs to make money.

To get started, you choose your identity from six different characters. Soon after this, a short, helpful tutorial begins.

Playing involves wandering around your town and having some rap battles with opposing DJs. The guy whose health hits zero first is the loser. There's even a place in the game called the Arena where you can go to duke it out with other players.

What's really neat about this, though, is that the game uses your phone's GPS to make your area part of the game. This way, you have your DJ battles and host your performances at your neighborhood venues and restaurants. You can also choose other cities or addresses if you prefer.

When you defeat an opponent, you'll receive power-ups and cash that you can use to buy more-advanced equipment and progress in the game. However, like most popular social networking games, such as Mafia Wars and FarmVille, you can only do so much at one time. You need stat points to boost your speed, attack, stamina, toughness and adrenaline. To earn more stat points, you either have to wait for them to collect over time or you can buy more with your credit card. The fact that you must pay if you want to make your game progress more quickly makes sense from a business standpoint, but, as the player, it definitely frustrates me.

The game's graphics are sharp and clear, but they're also colorful, whimsical and fun, a lot like a Craig McCraken cartoon.

Because the game is so new, there are still a few hiccups the developers need to iron out, namely the fact that the game will occasionally force close for no apparent reason. Sure, there's some room for improvement, but this is a very fun little game that has a lot of potential.

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