The mechanics are a mix of Dance Dance Revolution and the popular Nintendo DS game Elite Beat Agents. You must tap on notes in accordance with a scrolling black bar, and you’re rated based on your accuracy and timing. You’ll have to deal with single notes, notes that you hold, and notes that you must follow with your finger. Every song is scored out of one million points, and you are given a grade based on your performance. There is no way to actually fail out of a song. You’ll always get to play it to completion, even if you don’t hit a single note. However, Cytus does not show how well you’re doing as you’re actually playing.

The background visuals often have a nice painted look to them, and the production values are generally pretty awesome. The songs consist of a lot of electronic music, from techno to J-Pop, and while those may not be your cup of tea, the songs themselves are energetic and well suited to this kind of game. There are over 18 songs currently available for play. I can also tell you that this game is much easier to play on a smaller device rather than a tablet. While I found it easier to get the timing right with such large buttons, it’ll be quite the stretch for your thumbs to keep up, and it can honestly wear your hands out fairly quickly.

The game also froze on me quite a few times, though force-stopping it and restarting my device seems to have fixed things. OpenFeint leaderboards are also supported. The game is billed as free, but you really only get a three song sample and must purchase the rest of the game for two dollars in-app. I definitely recommend this title to any music and rhythm fan, as it’s quite well done.

My major gripe with the game is touch detection. With a game solely relying on timed button presses you’d think the developers would ensure they got it right the first time. This isn’t the case. I found myself executing a flurry of “perfect” with ease despite playing at a higher difficulty. Another issue is the way the orbs are placed. While they can be tapped in time with the beats, at times they can feel misplaced, shattering you from a musical trance.

In the end, minor nuisances keeps Cytus from claiming the best mobile rhythm game award. Despite these issues, its unique Active Time Scan, clean presentation and catchy soundtrack separates it from the pack. Well worth a try if you’ve been looking for ways to play with music.

[appbox googleplay com.rayark.Cytus.full]