Maestro! Jump In Music
| Maestro! Jump In Music

The DS has seen its fair share of music and rhythm games, with the likes of Rhythm Paradise and Elite Beat Agents delighting us with their wacky approach to finger-tapping.

Maestro! Jump In Music is another interesting take on the genre.

In a world where silence reigns (due, of course, to an evil nemesis), our hero Maestro must hot-foot his way through each region, strumming notes and taking out enemies to the beat, inevitably winning the heart of his birdy love Bella.

The beat is on

Not just interesting, but clever too, Maestro strides defiantly along strings, some of which light up. As this light reaches a central point on the string, you pluck it with the stylus, either sending our feathered friend into the air or down onto a lower walkway, depending on which direction you strum.

Along the way there are other tasks to complete in time with the music, including poking enemies, frantically strumming eels and swirling vortexes. Yes, it all gets a bit quirky, but it's also all in good taste and fits well with the game's comic feel.

Occasionally, there are some quirks, mainly in terms of the menus. For example, odd anecdotes and phrases are displayed before each level, generating a rather strange vibe. Still, in general, the presentation is well thought out and oozes charm.

And there's certainly a good selection of music on offer, ranging from classic pieces to pop and cult hits, and each works wonderfully with the concept. Unfortunately though there are only 18 songs, which means the game is much too short, weighing in at around an hour to complete Easy mode, and another three hours to finish off Medium and Hard.

There's the option to go back and play each unlocked song to improve your scores, but I wasn't compelled enough to do so.

Bad boss

Another thorn in this seemingly wonderful tap-'em-up are the boss battles.

Every three tracks, Maestro encounters the main villain, and must do battle with his conductor's baton. This involves playing a game of Simon Says with drums and strings, copying each arrangement perfectly until your nemesis is taken down. Each time it's an incredibly dull affair, and breaks up the action.

But through its faults, Maestro! Jump In Music holds up remarkably well.

It may be a short experience, but it's one that's definitely worth having. There are moments of pure awesomeness to be found here, so despite some misgivings, play on, you feathery wonder, play on.

Maestro! Jump In Music

A one-of-a-kind musical experience, Maestro: Jump In Music is great fun but over far too soon
Mike Rose
Mike Rose
An expert in the indie games scene, Mike comes to Pocket Gamer as our handheld gaming correspondent. He is the author of 250 Indie Games You Must Play.