If you’ve owned a Nintendo DS, you may be familiar with a game called Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan!, which was a music/rythym game released in japan and then spawned a US/EU adaptaption called Elite Beat Agents. Both these games were very well received by fans and gaming press, and eventually a PC game simply called osu!, based on the original DS game was created by Dean Herbert, aka peppy.
with osu! on PC, players could use their mouse to play or, if they had access to a graphics tablet, use a stylus instead, which many found was a better way to play and far more accurate than using the mouse. osu! also introduced many features and additions to the basic gameplay style found in the original DS games, players could create and share their own beatmaps for any song they wanted, and use custom skins to modify how the game looks when playing a certain song.
With that history lesson over, a port of osu! called osu!droid has been released on android, thanks to the efforts of a coder who goes by the name of pesets, after porting the game to the android platform over the past few months. Visually, the game looks almost exactly like the PC version, with the same interface and also retains the ability to display custom skins included with particular beatmaps. The basic concept of osu!droid is simple to learn but difficult to master, especially when you decide to try some of the hard or insane level beatmaps in the game.
When you start the game, you’ll be greeted with this title screen; you can choose to play, modify options or quit. After clicking play, the game will load for a few seconds to scan the designated directory and add any newly added beatmaps into the game libary. Once this has completed, you’ll see your song selection list. osu!droid comes with 4 sample songs and osu!droid lite doesn’t come with any songs at all (this download would be better for you have a low data cap on your android device). Scroll through the song list by swiping up or down and then tap on a song title to reveal the different difficulty levels available for that song. Some songs will have one or two different difficulty levels and some others may have up to 5 or possibly more. It’s completely dependent on whoever created the beatmap, since all of the beatmaps are created by the osu! community online.
As mentioned before, the gameplay is based on osu! on PC, which in turn is based on Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan! on Nintendo DS. So, if you’re familiar with either of those, you’ll know exactly how to play this version. For those who don’t, you play by tapping the circles on screen in time with the music. When a circle appears, a ring also appears around it, gradually getting smaller until it is the same size as the outer circumference of the circle. Once the outer ring reaches this point, this is the optimal time to tap the circle. These circles also appear in a sequence and are numbered to indicate in what order you need to tap them to progress through the song. Depending on how accurate you are, you’ll score 50, 100 or 300 points on each circle. Some beatmaps will also include sliders and spinners. Sliders require you to drag a sphere along a path that appears on screen and spinners need to be spun around multiple times to fill a gauge to complete that section.
Compared to the original PC version, osu!droid is an excellent port so far, retaining many of the features that made the PC game such a fun game to play. However, there are some features which aren’t included in this port, namely online rankings for songs and online multiplayer against other people. This may be a dealbreaker for some of the hardcore PC osu! players, but for simply playing a good music rhythm game on your own and having a wide selection of songs to play from. osu!droid is a really good choice for now.
osu!droid is available now on the android market for all android devices using android 1.6 and up