The rhythm game genre has enjoyed a massive revival over recent years, largely thanks to Guitar Hero on the home consoles and the big plastic guitar peripherals that come with it. It makes sense, then, for publishers to finally branch out into music that doesn't just feature male centegenarians and thrashy guitar solos.
Leading the way in a new(ish) direction is Gameloft with DJ Mix Tour. It's a game that uses the same format as pretty much every other rhythm-action game out there – coloured discs scroll down the screen towards you (or in this case, over your decks) and you hit the key that corresponds to them when they reach the bottom to ensure smooth playing of the track – but has you taking the role of virtual DJ instead of AC/DC.
So the backdrop to your tune-spinning isn't a stage of hairy rock stars but your hands on the decks. Nicely, that means you're looking out at the crowd that's getting down to your tunes. Not that they dance any more vigorously if you're doing well than if you're not, but you do get some cool lighting effects when you activate 'fever mode'.
In all other respects, DJ Mix Tour plays very much like Gameloft's rock rhythm game Guitar Legend. The notes you have to play are mapped to three lines and these correspond to buttons on your keypad.
So to play a left note, you can hit '1', '4' or '7', to hit the middle one it's '2', '5' or '8' and the right one is '3', '6' or '9'. Finally, once you've worked up enough correct subsequent notes, you can activate Fever Mode using '0', which doubles the score you receive for a limited time.
Fortunately, unlike Guitar Legend, DJ Mix Tour doesn't suddenly introduce five lines of notes into the equation. The songs do get progressively more difficult, but only by introducing more notes that need pressing simultaneously, longer notes that need holding and, well, just more notes.
By the time you reach Hard mode, your brain is adequately befuddled by the range of combinations necessary to prevent a rude and jarring scratched-record noise interrupting your song.
At this stage, the obvious problem with such a fast-paced rhythm game being on a mobile phone rears its head. Tiny, close-packed keys and lots of pressing isn't ideally suited to a mobile venture. On my particular handset, sections of notes that needed pressing in very quick succession seemed impossible to pull off perfectly.
Luckily this isn't a big problem, since you don't have to hit every note to complete a song. Hit too many duff ones and you'll fail but there's room for some error. Definitely a good thing, since your own ineptitude isn't always to blame.
Moving onto the most important factor in any music game though – the music – DJ Mix Tour definitely hits a high note. It contains 11 licensed dance tracks, nearly all of which you'll have heard before, even if you haven't set foot on an Ibiza dancefloor for some time. There's 'Cry For You', 'The Bomb', 'Alive' and 'Drop the Pressure' to name a few.
Sadly, the format they're in means they lose a little of the impact of the original tracks (and gain a fair bit of tinniness) as well as getting reduced to about one minute in length, but clearly it can't be helped. Load times before each song are already about ten seconds and the sound is as good as you'll get on a Java handset.
That said, not every song has notes that feel perfectly placed to the beat, and the game's Career mode is very linear with only unlockable trophies to detract you from just completing one song after another.
If you can live with the control difficulties and dig a spot of hard house over rawky rock, though, DJ Mix Tour is still the rhythm game for you.