Hands on with Samba De Amigo on mobile

Mi mobile es su mobile

Hands on with Samba De Amigo on mobile
| Samba De Amigo

Come late summer, the only thing you'll need to take a trip south of the border is your phone. Sega's re-entry into the mobile business has brought a surge of old classic back into popularity, the festive Samba De Amigo sitting among the bunch. We recently tangoed with the US-only release.

Bringing Samba De Amigo to mobile involves compromise, namely retooling the game around a number pad instead of maracas. You're more than welcome to give your phone a jingle, but it won't do much other than satisfy your lust for shaking. Instead, keeping the rhythm of the music requires tapping keys as notes stream from the center of the screen. High, center, and low positions are respectively tied to the '1' and '3,' '4' and '6,' and '7' and '9' keys on your phone. As note icons emanate from the center of the screen, you tap keys as the notes pass through each marker.

Three difficulty levels (Easy, Normal, and Hard) vary the frequency and pattern of the notes that fly across the screen. On Easy, you'll receive one note at a time; bump it up to Hard, however, and you're fingers are flitting about the keypad to hit all of the notes. Along with single notes, other patterns keep things interesting. Note pairs send two notes at different positions toward you at once, while note strings require a series of rapid successive key presses. Poses are also thrown into the mix randomly. A silhouette holding two maracas poses on the screen and you press the keys corresponding to the position of his maracas.

A baker's dozen of songs are playable across the game's three modes of play. Most of the tracks are instrumental covers of familiar Spanish-flavored tunes such as 'Oye Como Va' and series standby 'Samba de Janeiro'. Of course, 'Tequila' can only be played after downing a shot (okay, I made that up – you're also free to sip a margarita as an alternative). Given the audio quality, a drink or two might be in order; although, it comes with the territory and isn't so much the game's fault as the limitation of the device. The LG VX8350 isn't exactly designed for music, after all.

Training mode eases you into play, letting you select any available song and difficulty for a quick play. Once you're comfortable, you can jump into the objective-driven Challenge mode where you're given a song and must achieve a specific grade. Lastly, Arcade runs you through a set of songs. Between the three different modes and decent track listing, there ought to be enough gameplay to keep you satisfied for a while.

Aside from the less than stellar audio quality, Samba De Amigo promises to shake out some entertaining gameplay. The game fits mobile well, since you can easily play through a track in a matter of moments. Stay tuned for more when the game hits US phones exclusively this summer. (Alas, as we previously reported there doesn't seem much chance of Samba De Amigo mobile coming to Europe.)

Tracy Erickson
Tracy Erickson
Manning our editorial outpost in America, Tracy comes with years of expertise at mashing a keyboard. When he's not out painting the town red, he jets across the home of the brave, covering press events under the Pocket Gamer banner.