SelectButton’s Early Access reviews provides valuable insight on a work in progress. The game will be reevaluated once officially released, as the review below is based on the Early Access build of the game at the time of the review’s publish date.
My curiosity got the best of me wandering around the showroom floor at PAX East 2014 when a game shown off on an iPad with some beefy headphones attached caught my eye. Jamming for only a short time, I was intrigued by the premise of creating my own beats within six charming mini-stories. Not owning an iPad, I decided to dive into the Early Access release of Cosmic DJ on Steam as soon as it was available. One things for sure: headphones are a must.
Cosmic DJ was designed as game that anyone can pick up and play for any length of time. When a rival DJ (STEVE4) crashes the party with bad vibes, a handful of Jamtenna’s break in the process. It is up to you “The Cosmic DJ of Legend” to go through each area and let the good vibes flow once again. Each of the mini-stories are unique and adorable, having you do things such as helping a Corgi’s body reconnect with it’s head or having two people fall in love. THE POWER OF MUSIC!
Unlike the popular music games the flooded the market last generation – Rock Band and Guitar Hero – Cosmic DJ won’t have you following along to an already established track. Instead, you’ll be using your creative juices to create a composition by using different instruments. Don’t worry if you aren’t musically inclined (like myself), as anyone without a speck of musical ability will be able to enjoy the game. Complimenting the audio are highly stylized and often weird visuals that feel straight out of a mini-game in Wario Ware.
Playing on PC and not on an iPad, I lost the ability to quickly tap on the screen to create sounds, instead using a mouse and keyboard. After finishing the game, I preferred using the mouse, as I found it to be a more accurate representation for what I was attempting to create. There are two different methods available to you, one allowing you to easily add/remove different sounds on a grid and the other featuring easily to access pads to tap or press keys. It may sound complicated at first, but the entire interface is easy to use. The melody loops, allowing you to take your time create the perfect beat. Once you added enough sounds with one of the instruments, try switching to something new to further increase your good vibes meter.
When the meter is filled, you’ll be able to save the beat and share it with the world. Trust me, you may want to avoid the beats that I created. Cover art can be created for your album using a few different tools to show off your graphic design skills.
At a low price point, Cosmic DJ isn’t an overly long experience, lasting only a couple of hours, if you play straight through all of the adventures. The amusing and wacky narratives and ability to quick play any of the levels will keep you going back, even if you can only spare a few minutes at a time. It will be interesting to see what kind of changes and updates we will see to Cosmic DJ while in Early Access.Note: The Cosmic DJ Early Access Review is based on a digital PC copy of the game, provided by the publisher