Pick up your Switch and feel the groove in the palm of your hands in our Spin Rhythm XD review!
Music is a core component of almost every single videogame, but especially the case when it comes to rhythm games. If you can name a musical style, fair chance there’s some sort of rhythm game out there to please fans of the genre. From staples like EDM, rock and metal, to vocaloid, classical, or even game music itself, rhythm games present the perfect opportunity for players to explore new artists and genres.
For fans of electronic music, Spin Rhythm XD, officially released on PC earlier this year, offers an aural smorgasbord of tracks featuring gameplay inspired by Guitar Hero and DDR. Receiving critical acclaim for its smooth and intuitive controls and wide range of toe-tapping, head-banging beats, Super Spin Digital now bring the Melbourne-made music experience into the palm of your hands on Nintendo Switch!
I can practically feel the music just looking at this menu.
Featuring an impressive setlist of over 60 tracks, local multiplayer, and numerous difficulty/accessibility options to suit any player, does Spin Rhythm XD beat the rest and put your rhythm to the test? Drop the needle on our Spin Rhythm XD review for Nintendo Switch and let’s find out!
Spin Rhythm XD Review – Gameplay
As you load up the first neon-lit track, you’ll notice that the gameplay revolves around four distinct actions: Spin, Tap, Flick, and Slide. Each of these actions corresponds to either a red or blue note, which must be matched with a slider at the bottom of the screen. This is achieved by moving the analogue stick left and right while tapping with the A button – easy, right? As with most rhythm games, you’ll also need to perform each action with precise timing as the notes descend.
Spin, tap, it’s all in the mind!
Despite incredibly simple mechanics and controls, Spin Rhythm XD offers a surprising degree of depth through its dynamic complexity. As you groove your way through the tracks, you can choose one of five separate difficulty levels to suit your skill level (with XD pushing even the most skilled players to their limits). Increasing difficulty gradually introduces mechanics as you progress, such as harder difficulties requiring notes to be held and lifted, and additional beats requiring the tap of the R button.
Other indie games also make an appearance in the soundtrack!
For those unfamiliar with rhythm games, lower difficulties will allow you to focus on getting the basics right, building confidence and accuracy. This prepares you for more elaborate and challenging patterns based on the challenge rating of each track. Eventually, with practice, I became entranced in intricate combinations of spins, taps and holds while becoming lost in the music, finding it hard to tear myself away.
With enough practice, you’ll be spinning like a Beyblade.
The game also offers plenty of incentive to keep playing, with an experience system and levels as you make your way through more tracks. Capping out at level 30, each level-up will reward you with keys to unlock new songs, visual modifiers to the music board and spinner, and brand-new snazzy colour palettes to spice up the aesthetic of the game. With over a hundred unlockables and high scores to chase on every track, there’s a tonne of gameplay and reason to play the tracks on repeat!
It’s also worth noting that the Nintendo Switch port features multiple control schemes, allowing you to choose between regular controls, motion controls, or even the Switch touchscreen. Personally, I found the analogue stick and buttons to be most accurate for hitting high scores, but if you want to change things up or play purely for fun, the other control schemes offer even more variety.
Spin Rhythm XD – Music and Soundtrack
At the beating heart of Spin Rhythm XD is, of course, its music. Boasting a stunning collection of electronic tracks that span various sub-genres, its 60+ track setlist includes original compositions, licenced tracks, and even indie game easter eggs like the main track from OlliOlli World or even Lena Raine’s music to Celeste. Acclaimed artists like Anamanaguchi, 2 Mello, meganeko, and Temenite feature in over 4 hours of glorious music. Check out some of our favourites below!
Whether you’re into the dreamy melodies of future bass, the intense wubs of dubstep, the catatonic beats of trance, or even shanty-roaring pirate techno (yes, that’s actually a thing), there’s something here for everyone. I’m not personally a massive fan of electronic music, but there are just so many catchy tracks across the entire game that you can’t help but be engrossed by the music, which well and truly sits centre stage in Spin Rhythm XD.
Spin Rhythm XD Review – Visuals
As you might have guessed, Spin Rhythm XD looks just as good as it sounds, featuring a vibrant, neon-washed colour palette that perfectly matches the mood of the music. The menu UI feels like scrolling through a music playlist and is snappy and intuitive, perfectly suiting handheld play on the Switch. Many visual aspects of the game can be fully customised, ranging from the size and distance of notes, colour schemes, and even the virtual assistant that guides you through the game.
Accessibility options make the music approachable for everyone.
But where Spin Rhythm’s visuals really come to life is through its music. Each track also looks as unique as it sounds, with accompanying visual effects that respond to every single beat with animations and bursts of colour, like an interactive visualiser. Certain tracks also include striking visual elements, like beautifully animated pixel backdrops, 80s-style vector race cars, or trippy CGI effects that are almost impossible not to be distracted by. And if you are finding yourself distracted, you can actually switch these off entirely.
One of the coolest tracks in the game. Literally.
The combination of the fluid gameplay mechanics and the music creates an immersive experience where you feel like you’re not just playing a game; you’re part of the music. This translates into an audiovisual landscape like old-school Windows Media Player on steroids mixed with the reactive soundscape of Rez. Definitely a treat for all of your senses!
Some tracks feel like being inside an Arizona Ice Tea bottle.
And if you’re concerned about performance on Switch for a game that requires such precise timing, let me put your worries at ease. Spin Rhythm XD plays like an absolute dream in both handheld and docked mode – with buttery smooth gameplay across every single track. Throughout my entire experience with the game, I never encountered a single performance issue, which is impressive given how busy the screen can get at times.
Spin Rhythm XD Review – What Else?
Beyond the game’s single-player mode, which features 64 main tracks across 5 separate difficulties, there is some additional content to keep you coming back for more. Every track includes an online leaderboard, allowing you to compete with players from across the world if you’re a perfectionist who’s in it for the bragging rights. Nothing beats the feeling of hitting a full-combo and seeing your name up there with the very best!
At least I’m talented at something.
But if you’re playing purely for your own enjoyment, you actually might get more use out of the multiplayer mode, which allows 4-player local on the same screen. Each player chooses their own difficulty and is the ideal way to get friends or family involved, even if they’re not particularly skilled at rhythm games.
Spin with a friend!
Unlike the PC version of the game, there aren’t exactly traditional “achievements” to unlock, but there are still in-game achievements that will net you XP and help you level up. These range from simple tasks like hitting certain levels to the impossibly difficult “Spin God” (every track on the hardest difficulty) that will put even the best to the test.
If you’re a fan of both rhythm games and electronic music, there’s no doubt that Spin Rhythm XD hits every single note perfectly. Boasting a massive setlist and intuitive, fluid gameplay that can be catered to your own skill level, this is arguably one of the most polished music-based games on Switch. Even if you’re lacking a musical bone in your body and find that rhythm games aren’t your forte, we highly recommend giving this one a spin.
So, why should you play Spin Rhythm XD?
- Enjoy rhythm games? We’re almost certain you’ll love Spin Rhythm XD
- You’re a fan of electronic music, EDM, and all its subgenres
- Looking for a quick Switch game to play on the go
- Gorgeous, vibrant visuals that are perfectly suited to the Switch OLED
But why shouldn’t you play Spin Rhythm XD?
- Absolutely loathe rhythm games? You may not dig this
- You prefer your music light and acoustic
A review code was kindly provided by the developer for the purpose of our Spin Rhythm XD review. If you enjoy rhythm games, be sure to check out our review for Rhythm Sprout and Qualbert Discord to chat with us about the latest rhythm games!