Ludum Dare 32 — April 17th-20th, 2015 — Theme: An Unconventional Weapon

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Rhythm Gunner

by DDRKirby(ISQ) - Compo Entry

UPDATE! I've started work on the Post-Compo version. Changes so far:
- Added circles that pulse around your character to your current weapon's rhythm, so you can see the rhythm even while focusing on your character. This helps A LOT, so I would highly recommend playing the post-compo version instead of the regular one.

Rhythm Gunner is a unique take on the standard Super Crate Box genre:
Each weapon has a unique rhythm that you must tap to in order to shoot! Blast those enemies to the beat!

- Awesome chiptune music in the traditional DDRKirby(ISQ) style!
- Co-op mode!!!
- Different elements of the music are highlighted depending on your current weapon!
- 4 unique weapons, each with their own rhythms.
- Scaling difficulty as you reach higher and higher scores.
- Manual lag calibration!
- Bonus damage when you are perfectly on beat!

How high of a score can you get?

121 points Single Player mode:
91 points Co-op mode:

Downloads and Links




Bemmu says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 2:43am

Very innovative combination of Mario Bros (the non-super variety) with a music game. Your tunes are just hauntingly beautiful at times. Here especially when you pick up the gun that shoots bouncy balls. I hope next time you do a time lapse, as I would be really curious to see how you go about composing these tracks.

pikmin4000 says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 4:41am

It has a thick style that one can groove to!

I can't seem to get the look at the rhythm and enemies at the same time

pikmin4000 says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 4:43am

good theme, audio, graphics, and humor(fish made me lol). the learning curve seems to be very steep though, one shot makes me die and its hard to fight back

mtanton says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 4:52am

Very fun! It was difficult keeping it with the rhythm. It would be cool to have a 'hard' mode where you don't get the meter on the side. Good job!

Jhandsy says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 4:55am

This is really nice! I thought it was a little hard, though! The different instruments having different rhythms is really cool.

Jordan says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 4:56am

Loved it. Music is great, art is nice, and the idea itself is unique.
Had a good time playing it.

Really cool that you've added a co op mode.

Lynx says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 4:57am

Very interesting concept, I like how the weapons are instrument based. Way too challenging for me.

Reminds my of Super Crate Box meets Crypt of the Necrodancer... and based on the fact I can't seem to play SCB by itself, it's no wonder I suck :P

But don't take that personally, I love this concept, and the rhythm genre as a whole. We need more of these out there! And as always, wonderful music

YarharALC says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 5:07am

Everything is great, except there is no punishment for not shooting your gun. I got a higher score running away from everything fire two shots max than trying to kill anything.

PachowStudios says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 5:11am

Excellent concept and amazing music!

It is extremely difficult though being that you die very easily. I feel like more health would greatly benefit this game.

rukai says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 5:12am

Great game, enjoyed playing round with it for a few minutes. HOwever it looks like it would be even better after investing time into it and developing some skill. (Time that I don't have :()

I think it would be helpful if the beat bar was part of the background because at the moment its hard to keep track of both.

torcado194 says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 5:27am

very very good! pretty much super crate box meets necrodancer, as some comments have stated.

dvdfu says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 5:37am

My favorite so far! I love how the music changes, and each instrument refers to both rhythm and instrument. Good mix of Super Crate Box and Rhythm Heaven. Only complaint is I have no idea how much HP enemies have, which can be risky going into a fight

micahcowan says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 6:09am

As usual, you've made a fantastic game in 48 hours, complete with addictive music.

Took me a while to realize that there is zero incentive in actually _using_ the weapons on the badguys, except when it's necessary to clear some space or eliminate a threat - that the goal is actually to obtain these weapons. Which is cool, because it forces you to gain a familiarity with the different weapons so that you can easily switch gears to the different weapons based on which one you just picked up (there's little time for studying them, naturally).

Armanky says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 6:10am

I feel like this works better as a demonstration of the mechanic than as a game. The guns are a really cool idea and they're satisfying to use, but sometimes it's really hard to adjust to the new rhythm on the fly. Between platforming, avoiding enemies, AND keeping up with the rhythm, it becomes overwhelming pretty quickly.

I love this idea though! I'd love to see something like this expanded on.

Permamiss says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 6:13am

Well now, this one is pretty dang neat! I quite enjoyed this! Reminds me of Super Crate Box, but more difficult, and in my opinion, better! Hard to keep focus on dodging enemies and their attacks while trying to move, collect new weapons for points, and attack as well! Very nice! Hope this gets an extended version :D

Miltage says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 6:19am

An interesting concept and well executed. Really tricky to keep rhythm and avoid enemies. Great music!

SolomaZ says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 6:20am

Nails tough, but love the execution of the mechanic!

PixlWalkr says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 7:38am

Good game concept and pixel art, I like the weapons!

DragonXVI says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 10:15am

Call something "Rhythm Gunner" and I'm already all over that :p

Awesome idea, even if the game itself is very small. Love how the music changes and the beats change for each weapon. Would love to see this game expanded and turned into a full game. Excellent chiptunage too!

Xaychru says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 10:21am

Really cool concept, your music is awesome as always! I enjoyed learning how to use the different weapons correctly, and rhythm games are my favorites, so it kept me playing for quite a long time. ^^

Apr 20, 2015 @ 10:27am

Amazing audio, loved the fresh take on a rhythm game. It's pretty hard with a 1 hit kill though. Great job

adamwoolridge says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 11:29am

Really really cool! Nice music!

rnlf says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 12:15pm

As always really fantastic soundtrack. I played for more than half an hour now and didn't get past a score of 7 though. Maybe the input lag is too high on my virtual machine. Will try it on a real PC later.

Very cool idea!

PapyPilgrim says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 1:08pm

Picking up the rythme of a weapon always takes me some time, so I ended up avoiding the pickups as it would almost certainly make me loose... Not sure that was the intended effect.

Tijn says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 1:47pm

Awesome game! It's a bit like Super Crate Box meets Guitar Hero :)

Nomys_Tempar says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 9:22pm

Awesome game ! Very difficult for me, but i enjoy it anyway. Looking forward for the soundtracks :)

Photon says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 11:23pm

Oh my goodness yes. There is definitely a bit of a learning curve here but once you start to get a grasp on the different instruments and how they sync up with the music, it feels oh so good. I do feel like some of them could have synced up a bit better (more pronounced audio effects,) but whatever. Best score I have so far is 15.

Don't be scared by the initial difficulty people. Stick it out, because this is fantastic!

DDRKirby(ISQ) says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 11:33pm

My own personal best score is 73 btw, haha. I have a video of myself getting 43 points; I'll try and see if I can get a higher score on video and link to it.

DDRKirby(ISQ) says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 11:38pm

For those who are complaining that there is no incentive to shoot your weapon -- I guarantee you won't be able to achieve a high score if you just let enemies accumulate. ;)

ehtd says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 11:50pm

Interesting, but for some reason I could never shot :(
Adding a way to test the lag calibration would be nice

jdselsor says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 3:45am

I like how it was a shooter with a rhythm game. The weapons are unconventional like the bass gun. I like the challenge of shooting with the rhythm.

Raiyumi says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 3:46am

I really like the idea! I love it!

Pixel Heart says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 3:47am

I'm a impressed! You had an amazing idea! A music - shooter game! The game looks also well polished, the music fits perfectly and the art style is pretty good; but most of all: it's FUN! Big win for you.

DDRKirby(ISQ) says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 3:50am

Thanks for all the feedback so far! I've just broken my record with a 121 point run. Things really get intense once you hit 100 points...

Video here:

noxuma says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 3:56am

This game is awesome. Insanely hard to do both move and shoot, I keep trying to hit on the bass with every weapon! Weapons are all really cool too. Wish you'd get some points for killing mobs too =)

dcolgan says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 4:05am

Amazing, and pretty difficult. Coordinating the rhythm of shooting with dodging ememies is tough!

Joris says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 4:21am

The music is amazing and the game works great. Very hard though.

gamedevBear says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 4:44am

I love the concept and the music. I frequently died when I tried to shoot a bullet at the last moment, but the music didn't match, so I had no way of defending myself.

ManicMiner says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 1:12pm

Amazing music, and a cool game - but so, so hard - I think you basically have to be a musician to play this :)

Apr 21, 2015 @ 4:40pm

wow great entry! feels very polished. i love the music, just wish there was more than one song as it gets repetitive. the love the fish gun XD

dcRfj15 says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 8:38pm

I really like how each blaster changes the style and mood of the music. Also, the graphics are simple but really add to the mood of the game. I saw your personal best video, and the music generated when you are good at the game is really nice to listen to.

It is hard to get acquainted with each of the rhythms of the blasters though, it would be nice to see a sandbox mode if you expanded this game where users would be able to practice staying on beat with each of the blasters

luizgama says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 9:23pm

I like the mechanic and the tunes. I'd like the rhythm to be somewhere else on the screen where you dont have to struggle so much to coordinate between looking at the screen and getting teh new rythm when you change weapons

Apr 21, 2015 @ 10:34pm

I love it. Damn you make some awesome music.

Yword says ...
Apr 22, 2015 @ 6:25am

The music and the implementation are very good! The game is quite hard yet very additive.

Arche-san says ...
Apr 22, 2015 @ 3:15pm

Game mechanics are really fun and innovative. But it's really hard to remember to shoot in rythm. XD

Tipyx says ...
Apr 22, 2015 @ 4:53pm

Super crate box VS Crypt of the Necrodancer. Excellent job :). But it's very very hard :).
Maybe make the rythm UI more visible (above the hero for example ?)
Great music and of course great work :)

lamogui says ...
Apr 22, 2015 @ 5:05pm

Awesome music game like always! Good to see that lot of people included music in their gameplay in this ld.

DDRKirby(ISQ) says ...
Apr 22, 2015 @ 6:56pm

Update! I've started work on the post-compo version.
In response to the feedback that it's hard to concentrate on the rhythm at the same time as the platforming, I've added beat circles that pulse around your character to make it obvious what the rhythm is. Let me know how this change works! (I'll make it look prettier later)

flyingbear says ...
Apr 23, 2015 @ 1:27am

This was such a creative concept! The tunes were excellent, and I especially loved how each weapon introduced a variation of the base song.

drschizzo says ...
Apr 23, 2015 @ 9:02am

original idea and nice realization!

Apr 23, 2015 @ 4:08pm

Pssst - We played your game on Ludum Dare to Believe! Check it out at -

renatopp says ...
Apr 23, 2015 @ 4:10pm

Man, this is hard as hell! I really wish that you had at least one more life. Great game, congratz.

GhostBomb says ...
Apr 23, 2015 @ 4:48pm

Button masher bros brought me here but I don't really agree with them that this game is cheap. You can usually avoid getting trapped with planning. Having to keep in rhythm under this much stress is super challenging and rewarding. I would possibly like a larger playing field though. Kickass tunes!

Techblogogy says ...
Apr 23, 2015 @ 4:57pm

Great game, I love seeing some of the rhythm gaming stuff!

Apr 23, 2015 @ 5:16pm

Awesome! Probably the best game I've played so far. Love the concept. I find it maddeningly difficult, but its addictive. Brilliant music too!

Apr 23, 2015 @ 5:19pm

Awesome idea, innovative and the music in the game is very cool! But it gets too difficult too quickly - maybe if the rhythm bar were closer to the player, i don't know. Overall really interesting game, congrats!

HeuGamer says ...
Apr 23, 2015 @ 5:21pm

Was playing this without sound at first, then realized i needed it lol.

Bashabookoos says ...
Apr 23, 2015 @ 6:33pm

Great music!

FrozenCow says ...
Apr 23, 2015 @ 7:40pm

Another awesome game. Nice job! It's really hard, but also satisfying to get the rhythm right with everything that's going on. Quickly changing weapons all the time (which is the goal of the game) makes it impossible (for me) to do it right, so I just ignored the score and shot enemies for while.

Apr 23, 2015 @ 8:02pm

Interesting idea, I like when games use sound as something more than just background music. Difficult but nice game!

Coban31 says ...
Apr 23, 2015 @ 10:18pm

It's too hard for me ><'
The music is great !

Apr 24, 2015 @ 1:01am

This is awesome! I can jam to this sound! I'm not very good at the game, its hard to get into the rhythm and platform around at the same time for me. But it was very fun. You might consider jamming the player's weapon a tiny bit for missing a beat, or put some other sort of penalty for missing a beat, since you could theoretically just spam key and still fire on the beats. However, that was a minor critique, this is awesome!

Zarkith says ...
Apr 24, 2015 @ 8:46am

Oh my goodness oh my damn it's a Super Crate Box rhythm game! :O

<3 <3 <3

Would be nice if the flying enemies' bullets didn't go through platforms. It's hard enough trying to dodge the spikeballs while also getting yourself in a good position to fire on the next beat.

ruerob says ...
Apr 24, 2015 @ 8:47am

Excellent awesome super mega entry! I love your tune, your graphics and your gameplay! I love everything about this game! Awesome work!

SteveSalmond says ...
Apr 24, 2015 @ 10:00am

What a sweet idea - that music is badass! I found the pickup sounds really messed with my weapon timing, but I guess that would just come down to practice. Awesome job :)

pi_pi3 says ...
Apr 24, 2015 @ 4:00pm

This game is awesome. It's innovative, fun to play, has good graphics, good audio, good mood. This game is everything a good LD game should be.

andrewkennedy says ...
Apr 24, 2015 @ 9:09pm

I loved it! Really fun and the music, as always, was phenomenal. I found it a little tough, but maybe it's because I wanted to keep jumping with the rhythm haha.

hexdie says ...
Apr 25, 2015 @ 3:50am

I enjoyed this a lot! It's a rhythm-based Super Crate Box. It's an awesome concept and it's pretty well executed. I would say that if there was some visual cue for the rhythms you need to input on the main screen instead of off to the side, it would make this much better. Still, very nice work! Also, fantastic music!

DDRKirby(ISQ) says ...
Apr 25, 2015 @ 7:23am

@hexdie: I've added exactly that in the post-compo version :)

Apr 25, 2015 @ 11:36am

Awesome fusion! Very hard as well, I got to 21 points. The hitboxes seem a bit unforgiving sometimes, but perhaps that's just the frustration talking :-P As suggestions I'd say an asymmetrical level would be nice, and it would be nice if there was a bigger difference in how the weapons work.

MonoS says ...
Apr 25, 2015 @ 6:22pm

Ok, the game is fun and innovative, but it use two things i'm not so good: platforming and rhythm, i don't have none of those.

Really good music, not so much for the graphics and i find the main idea very intriguing.

Love the Echo Ice :3

ChuiGum says ...
Apr 26, 2015 @ 3:41am

One of the best LD's I've played! Awesome MUSIC! Great innovation, it was challenging at times but I had a really great time. Super fun!

GhostBomb says ...
Apr 26, 2015 @ 8:59am

This is probably the game I've come back to the most.

Highscore of 44

Split82 says ...
Apr 27, 2015 @ 6:59pm

Amazing! Super crate box with music. Great job!

Robinerd says ...
May 2, 2015 @ 4:09pm

Wow! I'm totally addicted. Although I often make music games for ludumdare, you beat my by far! (no pun intended). Well done!!

radmars says ...
May 7, 2015 @ 2:29am

This is so awesome, I love it. My only real complaint is the controls, ctrl is kind of annoying to press constantly. Would love to see this with controller support. Amazing work!

Red_Fan games says ...
May 10, 2015 @ 1:06am

So catchy, my foot was tapping to the beat of the weapon :)

matt beckett says ...
May 10, 2015 @ 2:10am

Love this. Great music!

Crowbeak says ...
May 10, 2015 @ 2:32am

At first I thought the tutorial was broken because it starts out having you perform the actions it tells you to take then suddenly switches to wall of text mode with a requirement that the player press space to advance the text. I discovered that space did something by accident and almost didn't rate the game.

As is, some of the weapons' rhythms are more difficult to manage, especially while platforming, and a practice mode that just allows people to shoot and move would be great.

NightShadow0 says ...
May 10, 2015 @ 7:56pm

I really, really like this in principle, but found it too hard to be enjoyable. One-hit kills from bullets that pass through walls when you're still learning the rhythm of a new weapon aren't very fun. Still one of my favorite entries, though!

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