Love them or hate them but Battle Royale games are a HUGE part of the gaming sphere these days, from fighting to be top of the pile in everything from shooters to racers and everything in between. The latest game to join the battle to win that prized chicken dinner so to say is Headbangers: Rhythm Royale – which is developed by French based Glee-Cheese Studio and puts a very unique spin on the Battle Royale formula. This is a light-hearted, rhythm battle royale game where you and up to 29 others battle it out as… pigeons. Competing against each other across a number of different mind-bending musical minigames, designed to truly test your inner maestro, as you try to win the grand title of Master Headbanger!
It’s a simple idea but by crumb is it addictive, as you face off against each other in real time across a number of different minigames; that will require you to do tasks, like repeating a tune on a keyboard or identify what instrument is being played. None of the minigames you’ll play are really overly difficulty, but when you’re up against a group of others in real time these can be somewhat stressful to say the least. Speed and precision are often key to success across the impressive list of 23 different minigames that can be selected at random to play across each 4-round battle. On top of this, there a few elements that try to put you off your game; like random dancing pigeons or a screaming dinosaur running across the screen. Plus, you can also get the upper hand at times over your competitors, with a few sneaky powerups you can grab mid-game if you keep your eyes peeled.
Headbangers: Rhythm Royale also features cross-play so finding a full lobby shouldn’t be an issue, though if you can’t get the magic 30 players needed… the game will back load in AI players to make the numbers and these bots are far from a push over too. But beyond the Battle Royale side of the game there isn’t a great deal of content to be found other than a fairly fun customisation system, that lets you forge your dream dove from above. As there are hundreds of unique items to unlock and collect for them; including outfits, hats, glasses, voices and taunts. Every game you play, you earn Crumbs – which can be spent in the shop to purchase these items. Though looking between lines this side of things could be very easily be monetized in the future, but I feel this would only happen if the game was to go free-to-play instead of being a full price title as it is just now. It’s an odd choice given that it’s aiming to take on other Battle Royale titles – most of which are free-to-play themselves.
Visually Headbangers: Rhythm Royale has clearly taken a little bit of inspiration from the likes of Fall Guys, as its art style is very cartoony in nature, but fits the game perfectly with each pigeon bursting with a real charm and weirdness in equal measures. Sound on the other hand is outstanding as you may expect from a title built on music minigames, as everything sounds clean and crisp. Even the pigeons having an almost Minions from Despicable Me quality to their audio. Headbangers: Rhythm Royale is a fun and enjoyable title that is simple but addictive, though it lacks a bit of variety and depth especially as a full price title. However, if you’re looking for something a little different… it’s worth a look.
An Xbox review copy of Headbangers: Rhythm Royale was provided by Glee-Cheese Studio’s PR team, and it’s out now on Xbox, PC, PlayStation and Switch for around £20.