Review: Maestro! Green Groove

Maestro! Jump in Music was a cute music-platformer from French developers BigBen Interactive. It was released in December 2009 and if you haven’t heard of it, then it probably has something to do with its limited release where only four big online stores stocked the game (and they’ve all completely sold out). As a result, the full game is incredibly hard to find. Not to worry: BigBen have released the first world of the game on DSiWare for all to enjoy (providing they pay 500 Points for the ticket).

As the hero of the game (a bird named Presto) runs along strings you have to guide him along by plucking the strings with the stylus, sending presto jumping up with a downwards strum and dropping down a level with an upwards strum. Along the way there are various different objectives. For starters, you have to collect fruit that is dotted around the level. While Presto will run through most on his own accord, you will sometimes (and often on the harder difficulties) have to make Presto jump/fall to collect them.

You will also have to pluck white strings in tune to the music and tap enemies at the correct time. All these elements mean that levels contain a good mixture of movements and keeps you on your toes – especially on hard mode. There’s also a boss level which has a simpler (but still challenging) Simon-says theme to it and involves you copying the evil Staccato’s drum beats and guitar plucks. Things are always hectic, fun and yet simple all at once.

Green Groove contains three pieces of music (Beethoven’s 5th Symphony, Dvorak’s New World Symphony, Chopin’s Nocturne No. 2 Opus 9) which as all catchy, classical pieces that suit the game extremely well. This means that there are three levels (plus a boss level) and three difficulty settings. The game isn’t anywhere near as short as it sounds, though – the harder difficulties play like completely different levels and are both longer and tougher. Which makes a total of 12 levels.

Once you’ve beaten the game, you can go back to previous levels to increase your score or head into free mode for a relaxing trip through the levels – you can even alter the tempo and select some different instruments. As this is ripped straight from a full retail games, the game is detailed, cute and colourful with interesting backgrounds that don’t get in the way of the gameplay. Maestro! Green Groove is a great experience and is definitely worth the 500 Points. it’s a big shame that the full game didn’t get a wider release.

Graphics: 4/10
Sount: 4/10
Gameplay: 5/10
Playability: 5/10
Lifespan: 3/10

Pros

  • A lot of fun
  • Provides plenty of challenge
  • Good value…

Cons

  • …unless you have an iPhone

Final Verdict

Maestro: Green Groove is definitely worth a play, and while it only contains a small amount of the full game there’s still enough content for 500 Points.

8/10

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