Indie Review: Bollywood Wannabe
Bollywood Wannabe is an indie rhythm game from developers Chrysaor Studio. Combining rhythm and light platforming elements, does the game succeed in giving you a good time? Read on to find out.
- Worth The Time?Yes, it's great for laughs and an enjoyable ride.
- Things LovedIt has an awesome concept, it's very enjoyable to play, it will make you laugh, the graphical style is great, it's unique, the story is funny, it has a really nice charm, there's a good variety of difficulty settings.
- Things HatedIt's cumbersome to watch the rhythm commands and the game at the same time, it can be a bit sluggish, more dance moves would have been nice, it can get repetitive.
- RecommendationWhether you know of Bollywood or not, this game is great for laughs, and it's very entertaining to boot. The price is a bit high, so you should play the demo first. If you like it, then this is absolutely worth it.
- Name: Bollywood Wannabe
- Genre: Rhythm
- Players: 1
- Multiplayer: N/A
- Platforms: PC
- Developer: Chrysaor Studio
- Publisher: Chrysaor Studio
- Price: R133
- Reviewed On: PC
Bollywood Wannabe is an indie rhythm game from developers Chrysaor Studio. Being a Muslim with a fair bit of Indian background, I’m no stranger to Bollywood personally. I’m no lover of it, sure, but I’m happy to take an opportunity to have a good laugh over it, and Bollywood Wannabe looked like it would give me exactly that chance. But mainly, the game just looked so unique, quirky and funny that I was eager to give it a run, and I have to say I’m glad that I did. The game actually has an awesome concept, and considering that I usually get over music games rather quickly due to the sheer volume at which they’re pushed out, I was happy to find such a new and creative take on the genre. A funny one too.
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The game opens with a cutscene showing a failure of a producer get his script rejected for the hundredth time. Vowing to get his movie released, he hires two stars, Kumar and Kendra, who have never been in a film before, to take on the lead roles. With a budget of practically zero and a script based off Romeo and Juliet, the producer finds himself and his actors in crazy situations where passion is the key, and that passion is dancing. In the game you’ll alternate between Kumar and Kendra in their various roles, and will need to dance your way through the movie’s scenes and do it well enough so that the public takes notice, and even joins in. The story of the game is really funny and well put together, and the ridiculousness and light-hearted, quirky humour is definitely welcome and fitting.
If you’ve played rhythm games before, then you’ll easily understand the basic mechanics here. In each stage you’ll encounter a new Indian song, and you’ll need to time your button presses to match the beats and tunes and score points. The game accommodates various levels of skill by featuring four difficulty levels, namely casual, normal, hardcore and get a life, as well as a choice between one button or four button mode. In the former, all four directional keys perform the same function, making playing the game easier, and in the latter your directional keys execute different dance moves, so you have more control over how you mix it up. For the most part though the game is very simple to grasp, and you have a welcome amount of options regarding how much of a challenge you want, or don’t want.
However, Bollywood Wannabe isn’t just your average rhythm game, and it really adds a fresh take on the genre by cleverly adding platforming elements to the mix. Throughout levels you’ll encounter obstacles that bar your way forward, and you’ll need to jump over them at just the right time so you don’t miss beats. There are also extended platforming sections and one or two tricks which do well to spice things up, and failing the platforming sequences can cause you to drop points as you’ll inevitably miss beats while you scramble to correct yourself. It’s a great twist on things, and it really is what makes the game unique and entertaining. It also puts a bit of pressure on you because you have to reach the end of the level before the song runs out, so you’ll have to pace yourself effectively and not stall.
Furthermore, how well you’re doing isn’t just judged by a multiplier or score, but also by how many people in the crowd join you in dancing. It’s fun to see, especially when you perform good enough to unlock secret characters, and it’s always worth a smile to see who joins up with you. If your dancing is off though, people will leave you. It’s a simple system that translates well in the game, and adds to its charm. Honestly, I really like almost everything about this game, and there are just a few areas where it could improve. Firstly, because the rhythm commands display right at the bottom of the screen, it can be cumbersome to watch both them and what’s happening in the game at the same time, which can detract from the experience. Also, it would have been nice to have had more dance moves available, possibly with button combinations or rhythms that required certain directions only. While I can understand the want for simplicity, it does have an impact on variety. Fortunately though, the fun platforming and great level design readily steps up and keeps things fresh in each chapter.
The 2D cartoony visual style is fantastic, and the game is very bright, colourful and busy in the pleasant way. Throughout the ten levels of the game, you’ll see many different locations and characters, and the art work is always top notch. It’s a nice little thing as well to be able to unlock the costumes that the two protagonists use in the story. The art style also shines through during the game’s cutscenes, and really gives the game its charm. It’s a bit funny to talk about the audio in the game because that would depend on your taste for Indian music. I will say that there are definitely interesting tracks in the game, and also some great ones, and if you’re foreign to this kind of music then it will entertain you for certain. Technically, the game performs smoothly and without problems, although I did find that it can be a bit sluggish in the main menu screen, and with the rhythm commands’ animations. It doesn’t really hurt the game much, but it’s noticeable and distracting when it happens.
Bollywood Wannabe makes great use of its awesome concept, and it’s just entertaining, funny and refreshingly different. The inclusion of platforming elements definitely did a lot to make this game unique and plenty of fun. It will surely give you a good laugh as well, and to say a lot in few words, it’s just a very enjoyable game to play. The price is a little steep though, so I’d absolutely recommend trying out the demo first. If you like it, then you’ll no doubt love the game, and it will be worth it.