There are plenty of different sorts of rhythm games available in Japan. Since they typically don’t require much knowledge of the language to succeed, they’re great candidates for importers worldwide to enjoy. Fortunately for fans of the genre, that isn’t necessary with some series. Taito’s Groove Coaster series has been making a big showing worldwide! Which means you should probably know more about it.
What is Groove Coaster?
Groove Coaster gets its name from the fact that it is an on-rails music game. You follow a Navigator, which can look like a Space Invader alien, nondescript item or icon character, as it moves along a line. Different sorts of indicators appear on the line, directing your inputs. One of its major hallmarks is its Tate mode presentation, which means the screen is presented vertically. However,
Your goal in Groove Coaster is to create and maintain Chains, which will result in Fever sections. Fever streaks let you earn more points. Performing well in each installment tends to help you unlock things like new cosmetic options, songs for yourself and titles. Since this is also very often a competitive rhythm game, you want to learn to earn the highest scores possible.
Which Groove Coaster games can I play at home?
There are some downsides to the nature of Groove Coaster. While this is a great series, many of its entries have only appeared in arcades or on mobile devices. Now, the arcade part isn’t too much of a hurdle to leap over. Some can be accommodating and have the machines. But the nature of mobile devices means you aren’t going to be able to play Groove Coaster or Groove Coaster Zero anymore.
Fortunately, all of the following Groove Coaster games can be easily found and played in your home!
Groove Coaster 2 (Mobile, 2015)
Groove Coaster 2 is actually an interesting case in the series’ history. While it is entirely new for Android devices, it replaced Groove Coaster Zero. So people can take solace in knowing an older entry lived on in a way. Especially since this improved the formula by allowing people to play using two hands instead of one. It has over 200 songs available… but most of them require you to buy them in track packs.
Groove Coaster for Steam (PC, 2018)
The PC version of Groove Coaster is a good place to start for someone who is all about the music and solo-play. It comes with 58 songs immediately and a more traditional control scheme. However, if you have a controller, you can use one with it. Leaderboards also let you “compete” with friends.
Groove Coaster: Wai Wai Party (Switch, 2019)
The Nintendo Switch version of Groove Coaster is the one for multiplayer action. It can be played alone or with four friends. There are all the challenges people expect. Vtubers make a big showing. Standard and Tate display modes are in there. Plus, people get 100 songs right away.
What about DLC?
There is issue with home versions of Groove Coaster games. They are known for how much supplemental DLC ends up being released. The version you get determines what you’ll have to deal with.
If you go with Groove Coaster 2, you have a free-to-play game. Some tracks can be unlocked, while others are occasionally given away for free in its store. However, it is also going to offer to sell you a 20-song track pack for $24.99 or a 48-song one for $56.88.
The PC and Switch versions of Groove Coaster each rely on additional song packs to buff up the tracklists. If someone goes with the Steam version, additional add-ons will be $1.99 per song. On the Switch, every pack is $15.99 and includes 10 songs, more avatars and additional Navigators.