By Brad Cook
Harmonix, the developer of Rock Band and Guitar Hero, rocks the world of videogame consoles and now you can catch some of the vibe on your iPod when you play Phase. Simply copy your favorite music to the Phase playlist in iTunes and play the game one song at a time, or in marathon sessions of up to five tracks in a row.
Choose one of three difficulty levels and embark on a musical journey along a path designed to look like a three-line musical staff. Phase divides your trek into checkpoints, with their quantity determined by a songs length. As dots that represent musical notes head your way, press the correct click wheel button to activate a target at the right moment. When you come across curved lines of smaller dots, known as sweeps, glide your finger across the click wheel to scoop them up.
Stars at the bottom of the screen fill as you successfully catch notes. You need to fill a certain number of stars by the time you reach the next checkpoint; if you dont, you lose a life, represented by hearts. Run out of hearts and your game ends; complete all the checkpoints and reach the end of the song to win.
The notes placement on the path matches the beat of the music, but you encounter tighter bunches of them on higher difficulty settings. You also need to fill more stars before the next checkpoint during tougher games, leaving you little margin for error. The crowd goes wild every time you pass through a checkpoint, so keep them happy.
At the end of each game, check out your final score, along with your accuracy percentage and the longest string of notes you completed. The more notes and sweeps you nab consecutively, the better your score multiplier and the higher your final total.
Between games, click on the High Scores menu to revisit your best efforts with both single songs and marathons. Phase tells you what the difficulty setting was and how many stars you filled during that game. From the main High Scores menu, you can also see how many songs youve played since the beginning and the total number of notes youve caught.
Before you head out on tour, choose from one of six themes: Deep Sea, Music Festival, Neon Nights, Sonic City, Robot Factory, or Alien Planet. Or let Phase choose one for you. If you want the game to shuffle your music during a marathon session, you can do that too.
So you want to be an iPod star? Then keep reading now and heed what we say.
Tips and Tricks
- If you miss a couple dots during a sweep, dont give up on it. You can still collect notes and fill stars, even if your efforts dont count as a successfully completed sweep.
- Your Phase playlist can contain up to 1,000 songs between 30 seconds and 30 minutes each. Drag songs to it from your iTunes library, not from another playlist.
- Complete a marathon on the hard difficulty setting to unlock the expert difficulty.
- Complete a marathon on the expert difficulty setting to unlock the insane difficulty.
- Complete a marathon on the insane difficulty setting and visit the Phase forums to brag about your accomplishment.
iPod Games FAQ
Do you have questions regarding any of the iPod games available from the iTunes Store?
More iPod Games
- Mac OS X version 10.3.9 or Windows 2000
- iPod nano (3rd and 4th generation only), iPod classic, or iPod (5th generation only). Not playable on your computer, other iPod models, iPod touch or iPhone. Please check which iPod model you have.
- iTunes 7.5 or higher required to download (games cannot be played in iTunes)