Moana Rhythm Run – First Impressions

Hello all and Happy Thursday!!! If you’re a Disney nut like me, you might be eagerly awaiting the release of the newest animated film, Moana, due out next week. Today, however, we got an early treat in the form of a new mobile game, Moana Rhythm Run. I’ve now played quite a bit of this game and am ready to render some thoughts. So let’s take a look.


Moana Rhythm Run is a rhythm game, which involves running.  Alright, I know that sounds blatantly obvious, but the idea that these two types of games are working together is what gives Moana its edge.  While most runner games will have you jumping, hitting things, and trying not to wipe out as you progress, Moana does this to the beat of the music from the film.


That’s key here, because without the music, this game loses some of the magic.  Sure, the graphics look nice and colorful and the scenery is lovely BUT the really special part of playing this game for me was hearing all of this amazing music for the first time.  In fact, based on this game, I might even go so far as to say that this is one of my favorite Disney soundtracks of all time.  It’s just that good.  I’ll be honest, while early on the gameplay did not immediately hook me, I found myself hanging in there because I wanted to hear the rest of the song that was playing.


As you play through the game, you are walked through the story of the film, in lovely little art frames with a bit of story.  It feels kind of like a visual novel.  Now, this might be something to consider because at the end of the day, I recognize that much of the core story of the film is being spoiled for me through this game.  If that is something that matters to you, I might hold off until next week and see the film first, because this game is going to give you a lot of the plot points in a very short amount of time.  Does playing this make me think I don’t need to see the film?  By no means.  However, it does make me know a lot of what is coming.


As the game progresses, you’ll have varying areas to explore which come with different abilities. to master.  In the third level, I had to master timing my sail with the wind and timing my rowing with the waves, and as these come from opposite directions, it requires a bit of finesse to accomplish.  The rise in difficulty is nice and steady though and I rarely found myself aggravated by having to restart multiple times. You can even use the turtle button to slow things down if you need to see a sequence a little closer, or the wind symbol to speed up for extra challenge.


And the levels continue to surprise, always adding a little something special to make you feel like it was worth it to get there.  I also like that I don’t feel like I’m just playing the same level over and over like many running games out there.  Of course, the heart of all of this is that each new level comes with new music, and that alone makes me want to experience all of it.  In fact, I would go so far as to say that I would take a whole game like this that had songs, characters and levels from different Disney properties.  Sort of Rhythm sing-a-long game.  Get on it Disney!


So the gameplay is fun, the music is downright amazing, and the graphics are colorful.  What’s the catch?  Unlike many games we talk about here on the site, Moana comes with a $4.99 price tag.  I’ll be honest, upon first download I found it to be overpriced, but I have come to change my tune.  And here’s why.  As you progress, and the challenge increases, you are going to fail and have to restart from a save point.  It’s just a fact.  Were this a free game, I would only have so many lives and then have to wait until they refresh or spend money for more.  Here, because I am paying up front, I can retry a level as many times as I want.  No gems.  No lives.  I get to keep going until I succeed and that’s awesome.  It makes you really want to perfect each segment because at the end of the day, it’s not costing you lives to do so.


This is not to mention that there are more levels promised in a free update in the near future and the game already runs wonderfully.


Moana comes at a higher price than many Disney games, BUT the tag is worth it.  This is a very polished game that did not ask me to make in app purchases.  It guides you through the story of Moana and does it while having you tap to the beat of some fantastic music.  Despite a so-so initial impression, my day with the game has caused it to grow on me.  Beyond the first level, the game constantly surprises and the music alone is worth the purchase.  If you are a Moana fan already, or become one after seeing the film next week, this is definitely a game worth your attention and that of your youngsters who are sure to fall in love with this awesome new princess.

Check out the game trailer below and HEAD HERE to purchase the game!

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2 replies »

  1. On the subject of the music, I’m really getting anxious for the soundtrack to come out (in addition to the movie); the song “We Know the Way” was absolutely AMAZING, and I’m hoping that the rest of the score will be just as good!

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