From the first child project of Rayark Inc. back in January 2012, Cytus has blossomed into one of mobile gaming’s most popular apps, with a few million downloads from both Apple’s iOS and Android’s Google Play. They have won six awards, including Bahamut and Digital Taipei, and even have had live concerts for the game’s soundtracks. Ratings have been 5 stars for years now, and we know that reviews are legit.
But the package is big. To download all 600 over megabytes, you’d better be on Wi-Fi. Plus the free version is limited and full of nuisances, like ads and a 30-second waiting time. Yet people are willing to fork out the $1.99 for the full experience.
Now let’s dig deeper to find out what truly makes Cytus, and why we love it.
Gameplay is immersive.
Introducing the Active Scan Line system. In older musical tap tap games, you get 2 things. One, the base line just sits there, waiting for the bubbles to fall on it. Two, the bubbles always go top-down, like apples falling down a tree. Not with Cytus. As the trailer shows, this time the line is dynamic – it moves up and down. As for the bubbles, they can pop up just about anywhere on the screen. Your ability to tap rapidly, hold, swipe (or *cough* do all 3 at the same time) is tested on different difficulties and songs.
The tutorial won’t take you a minute to get over with.
Even first time playing, you’ll be flung into a the heat of a challenging song from the get go. But hey, in this kind of game, you hardly need to be handheld. It’s not an RPG. Just a whole library of songs at your disposal. You can begin at any Chapter, at any time, Easy or Hard. Not that I needed a tutorial on what S, A, B, C and FAIL means. You might even get Million Master on your first try, who knows? Even if you’re doing horribly on a song it still plays to the end – no timer, no pressure.
Trust me. Just get in and PLAY.
The entire song library revolves around you trying to piece together and, hopefully, make sense of this girl’s story, as you literally playback the fragments of her memory. The vessel of human emotion. Each chapter reads like a book and plays like an album.
The artwork is eye candy.
People are demanding desktop wallpaper art. Period. It’s not easy to introduce new illustrations and get fans.
Unlike Final Fantasy, whose characters already have a considerable fanbase, Cytus needed to go for the “love at first sight” yet make sure that it isn’t too distracting. As you can see, they did a damn good job. Players admire the art like decorations on a cake, then dive right into the core and just play.
Check out this cool gallery for the game’s features and artwork.
The community is amazing.
Cytus has garnered a large enough fanbase worldwide that we have personal blogs debating symbolism or just complaining about how hard some songs
like that devil song L are. There’s an active online community where you can watch somebody on YouTube make Million Master look like Easy Level 1, listen to a full OST on Soundcloud, Google some artwork and so much more. Even as you read this, a serious Wiki page runs in full editing steam – filled with gameplay information, screenshots, more illustrations, general advice, the forum, cool trivia about the DJs, singers and composers (complete with FB/Twitter profiles that you can stalk) and how to unlock hidden songs.
Cytus Wiki : 186 Pages with daily activity & dedicated editors.
The Million Downloads Plan is an initiative to add 10 new songs and unlock a chapter for free for every 100,000 paid downloads on all devices. Eventually the goal is a million paid downloads. You can easily see this number live in-game or on the site. Right now we’re over halfway there.
The music library is huge.
You are talking about a collection of 120 plus songs, with composers from Russia, Japan and Korea and a Maori singer. All sorted out in 12 chapters, where each “cover” is even part of a collective chapter by itself, titled Cytus Alive. The overarching style allows synthetic beats and melody to dominate, but if you want to talk about genre? There are elements of Hip Hop, Rock, soft ballads, Electronic House Music, apocalyptic melodies and more. An entire chapter is even dedicated for “classical” fans.
And of course you should wear your headphones. Duh.
So is the app worth $1.99?
Here’s the verdict. If you are playing this game on a somewhat regular basis, like on the bus ride home, during lunch break or tea time, then yes! Please do yourself a favor and just get the full version. 30 seconds might seem short, but if you wait over and over, it accumulates – your time is much more crucial to you than 2 bucks.
Phone or tablet?
Easy levels don’t have so many notes, so your phone should be fine. But if you’re going for the Hard Level Nines, then a tablet is the best for note accuracy.
Should I unlock Chapters for $4.99?
Ask yourself if what you want is to play or just listen to the full songs. If it’s the latter, then just go to YouTube or SoundCloud. But if you have a strong desire to try the new songs, then by all means go ahead. It barely costs a cup of coffee.
For all the Cytus fans out there, we are all pushing and cheering on for 1 Millon downloads. At the same time, we collect Million Master scores.