TGS 2022: Catching Up with Rhythm Game Hybrid ‘NOISZ STARLIVHT’

While my obvious main target at Tokyo Game Show is new or upcoming games, sometimes an indie developer is showing off a game that has already released that catches my attention. Perhaps they are launching in the Japanese market for the first time. Maybe there’s a companion game, sequel, or port coming. Some may even just be hoping for a second chance to get noticed in the merciless seas of the market. Whatever the reason, I don’t mind it. Frankly, I miss cool games all the time, and if I missed something then there’s a good chance some of you may have as well.

NOISZ STARLIVHT (Free), from Anarch Entertainment, released on the App Store all the way back in February of this year. Jared caught it in his weekly round-up, as Jareds do, but that seems to be about as far as it got on our radar here at TouchArcade. Whoops! While doing my rounds in the Indie Game Area of the Tokyo Game Show, Son of Musgrave wanted to stop and play an English-teaching game. Sure, why not? Immediately next to that game was NOISZ STARLIVHT, and it caught my attention quickly with its colorful visuals and great music.

A standalone follow-up to the PC game NOISZ, NOISZ STARLIVHT is a unique game that wears many hats. It’s a visual novel! It’s a rhythm game! It’s also kind of a bullet-hell shooter? You aim to become the #1 idol group while battling interdimensional music monsters, and that’s just the surface of this wild story. You can play through the whole main story for free, with additional purchases for extra features and content. It is quite a substantial story, and the writing has a charm to it that can’t be denied.

Beyond the story segments, you’ve got the rhythm game portion of NOISZ STARLIVHT, and this is where it gets a bit spicy. As you might as expect from a game in this genre, you have to tap, hold, and flick as the notes arrive in each lane. Alright, we’ve seen that before, what else have you got? Well, you’re also battling enemies as you do this. Those enemies will attack you, and you’ll have to spare a finger to move your character around to dodge. You’ll also sometimes have to clear certain notes by moving through them.

The challenge is of course that you have to do both of these things at the same time, one finger tapping to the beat while the other frantically dodges. It’s like rubbing your tummy and patting your head at the same time, and I mean that in a good way. Naturally, the music is excellent. Can’t have much of a rhythm game without good music.

I’m really happy that Anarch Entertainment was showing the game off at the Tokyo Game Show this year, and that I happened to catch it. I downloaded the game immediately and have been playing it every day since then. So while this particular hands-on isn’t telling you about something you couldn’t have seen before, it is telling you about a game you can play right now. And you should!

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