Rhythm games will never die. Dance Dance Revolution can be considered the holy godfather of rhythm games, but now guitar jam games – like Guitar Hero and Rockband – carry the standard.
More than one freeware alternative already roam the web, but not all possibilities have been explored. This is obvious when we look at Instant Jam, a Facebook Guitar Hero clone with great graphics and a number of impressingly innovative new features.
Every fan of music and rhythm games should give Instant Jam a spin. Read on to know why.
The game instantly reminds us of Guitar Hero for PC, or other freeware counterparts like Jamlegend and Frets on Fire. There are a few not-so-subtle differences. For starters, similar to Mafia Wars and Farmville, the game is available on Facebook. It was developed by Instant Action, an innovating game developer that renders the 3D graphics on their own server farms, and streams it to the user – with little to no local rendering required. This means casual gamers can get the eye candy without the hardware to support it.
Because Instant Jam can be played from the browser, it will not remain captivated as a Facebook app. Everyone will be able to embed an instance of the game on their own website or blog, just like a YouTube video.
Instant Jam can be played on both Windows and Mac, and features the same gameplay system as its competitors. Notes travel down the screen and you need to press the corresponding buttons when they reach the bottom. You can choose to use your keyboard and mouse, or to use an actual Guitar Hero controller with a USB converter.
The Largest Music Library (Your Own)
Perhaps the most refreshing aspect about the whole of Instant Jam game is the way it handles music licensing. Instead of making deals (or failing to) with musicians, it uses your music library with an interactive layer on top. Instant action will check which of your songs are already programmed into the system, and start right away. This assures you the best musicians for free, even some that have declined to be in games like Guitar Hero and Rock Band.
If you do not yet own the song you want to play, you can unlock it by purchasing it via iTunes, Amazon, or by using Instant Jam credits (more on that below). Instead of paying for a single in-game experience. The music you bought will actually be yours, and available in your local music library. Thousands of tracks are already available and more will be added each day.
Social Scene, Unlockables and Gaming Credits
Instant Action uses the same social scheme as other major Facebook games. Initial gameplay is single player, but users can challenge and fan other players. Aggregating fans and nailing songs will get you in-game credits, which can then be used to unlock items. These same credits can also be bought online with real money.
There’s a limit of the songs you can play in one run. Once you’ve reached the cap, you need to use those same in-game credits to buy extra game-credits, or you can also wait an hour and a half to be reset. This is an interesting micro-transaction business scheme that does not ultimately work to the disadvantages of players who want to keep on playing for free.
What is your favorite music and rhythm game? Tell us why in the comments!