‘Hit spacebar on the seventh beat’ doesn’t seem like a hard instruction to follow — but what if the game screen changes? Or the beat suddenly goes different? Or if there are several of them at once?
Rhythm Doctor is a rhythm based game like no other. You play as a doctor trying to hit seventh beat of a heart of a patient. If you miss the beat then you do damage to the heart. The game seems simple enough in concept, with a beautiful pixel art aesthetic, yet it is the best rhythm based game I have ever played.
I was able to play a demo of the game at Casual Connect — taking on the tutorial as well as a few of the ‘bosses’ of the game. The tutorial is fairly simple, introducing you to being a doctor and to the 7th beat — the one you should be more mindful of. From there, you can take on various patients in the hopes of making them feel better and keeping them alive.
The bosses are difficult and come with a variety of different music and gameplay. One level has you view a musical between a patient and a doctor — where you need to follow two different heart beats at points within the song. The two duet, talking about the hospital and about hoping to get better. If you make it far enough along in the song, you enter a part where they talk to each other, explaining more of the story as to why this patient is here.
Another boss changes the screen size — from full to a small window, and starts off easy. The beat is seemingly simple to follow — you can see a psychedelic background to go with the heart beats and your patient. Slowly at first, barely noticeable, the window starts moving. While you are tapping away to the beat, the window starts circling around the screen — disappearing and reappearing, and generally ramping up the challenge. You can attempt to keep up with it, but Rhythm Doctor will always surprise you and challenge you.
With a level editor and a playable demo of the game, you too can take on the challenge of keeping patients alive, all to various genres of wonderful music. Rhythm Doctor is definitely one to look out for if you are a fan of the rhythm game genre.