Headbangers: Rhythm Royale seems to have so much in common with Fall Guys that it’s hard not to notice the strong inspiration from this popular title. For some reason, however, this game has been much quieter about it.
As soon as the birds chirped about the existence of something like Headbangers, I literally jumped at this title. A musical battle royale? It had to work! I watched the game on 9kier’s stream for a while and I already knew it was something for me. When I also found out that the game was available on Game Pass, I immediately started the download.
Headbangers: Plays and hums
As a fan of PUBG and Warzone, playing Trombone Champ and various versions of Guitar Hero, I simply could not ignore Headbangers: Rhythm Royale. Regardless of what such a game would sound and look like, it simply seems too interesting and innovative. And let’s agree that she sounded and looked quite passable.
The graphics of “Pigeons” are very reminiscent of the popular “Beans”, i.e. Fall Guys – the hit of August 2020. For some this will be an advantage, for others a disadvantage – but the game certainly meets the minimum aesthetic requirements. Of course, it could be a bit more different from that title, but the creators decided to follow the safest path. According to the well-known rule that we like the melodies we already know.
As for the music, however, I have to disagree. For a rhythm game, i.e. a musical one, there are a bit too many creaks and clangs. The game contains a lot of sound clutter and, in my opinion, unnecessary noises, which become tiring after a long game. However, it is probably about the desire to engage a younger, overstimulated user. 30-year-old seniors must therefore be patient or decide on shorter playing sessions.
Rhythm Royale, or become the last pigeon
The most important thing here is the gameplay. We start each battle with 30 pigeons, and after the first competition we reduce the group to 20, then 10 and finally the final five. Competition does not allow us to relax even for a moment. Any, even the smallest, distraction is a sure fall away. In the first attempts, we often lose due to ignorance of the rules, which are different for each minigame. However, we quickly catch up and find the rhythm.
The creators have prepared a pool of 23 competitions. Unfortunately, they begin to repeat themselves within the first hours and become more common after some time. Even more diversity and creativity would be needed if the game is to “live” beyond Christmas. Guessing sounds and various forms of imitation are a bit insufficient for a genre that involves improvement and repeated repetitions. Beginnings with new sounds are great, of course, but no one likes broken records, right?
Catch the pigeon!
Of course, we receive rewards for playing and winning, which, just like in Fall Guys (forgive me for returning to this title, but comparisons are simply impossible to avoid), will help us distinguish ourselves from other participants in the game. However, this is no motivation for someone who has already played similar productions. Again, perhaps younger players are simply targeted. However, it seems that this title could do a little more to encourage players to dive back into the 30-player competition.
In the case of Fall Guys, the motivator was, of course, friends. There is nothing better than competing with friends, in which we can win a cup and demonstrate our musical and rhythmic superiority. However, while “Beans” was an immediate hit and almost everyone wanted to try to reach for the winner’s crown shortly after the premiere, there is a disturbing silence around Headbangers. And this is not a title to be played solo. Defeating 29 people we don’t know is not the same as defeating even one opponent “made of flesh, feathers and bones.”
Better a handful of beans than a pigeon on the roof
Fall Guys itself wasn’t even that good of a game, but the ability to compete with friends on Steam created a snowball effect and attracted huge crowds of people to play. Headbangers had the potential for an identical script, but for some reason it didn’t follow in the footsteps of that hit production. Perhaps the game is still waiting for bigger streamers to discover it. Maybe a bigger price reduction is needed, because not everyone uses Game Pass. I wouldn’t be surprised if this young title still stands out and soars to the top of the popularity rankings.
Unfortunately, I won’t be surprised if no one hears from him again. A cool initial idea would have to be supported by further work, additional content and a marketing campaign so that the game doesn’t get lost among the dozens of new releases released every month. It may not have incredible value when it comes to replaying it – the so-called replayability. However, even if it does not become a classic played for the next few years, it could certainly become a hit at at least several events. Nod your head if you agree.