New Music Games: Riddim Ribbon Busts A Groove, Fret Nice Plays Nice

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If you’ve already had your fill of “Boom Boom Pow”, you might want to wait a while to cue up Riddim Ribbon on your iPhone. In this officially endorsed Black Eyed Peas game, you try to keep a rolling marble on a narrow track in order to preserve the ill and dope (Ribbon’s words, not mine) beats of the song. The remixes of the tunes change depending on which forks in the ribbons you choose and how well you stick to the line. Only six songs (three by the B.E.P.) come with the game; you’ll be able to buy more via Apple’s in-app purchase system.

Tapulous built its iPhone app empire with the Tap Tap Revenge games. Riddim Ribbon is an attempt to move beyond their bread and butter franchise, but all it does is explain why the company isn’t called “Tiltulous”. It’s often a nightmare to control the rolling marble using the iPhone’s tilt sensor. Many turns require such an extreme tilt that you lose sight of the screen and, faster than you can say Boom Boom Ow!, you fall off the track.

For a completely different—and less headache-inducing—music game experience, Tecmo’s Fret Nice deserves some air (guitar) play. It’s a side-scrolling platformer that you control using one of the Guitar Hero or Rock Band axes that are probably collecting dust in your closet (if you don’t have one, you can play the game with a regular controller). Players clear the screen of enemies by strumming sequences of notes so that the images they create resemble the faces of the bug-eyed monsters. It’s not a game that you’ll be playing for hours, but it’s endearing, bizarre, and well worth a download on the PlayStation Network and soon on Xbox Live Arcade.

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