Welcome to our Cytus Alpha Review. Cytus Alpha is an enhanced version of the successful mobile rhythm-based game, Cytus and is designed specifically for the Nintendo Switch. Cytus Alpha will have you working your fingers to the beat of several catchy compositions.
- Cytus Alpha
- Platforms: Nintendo Switch
- Reviewed On: Nintendo Switch
- Developer: Rayark
- Publisher: Flyhigh Works
- Multiplayer: 1-3 Players
- Available: April 25th, 2019
- Price: £44.99 (U.K), $49.99 (U.S)
- Age Rating: PEGI 12 (U.K/E.U), T (U.S)
- Review Code Provided
Cytus Alpha, despite being a music rhythm game does in fact have a story although it really doesn’t care about making you go through it if you don’t want to. However, the developers have chucked in a mode known as DEBRIS which can be accessed from the main menu. In DEBRIS players can view the story of Cytus Alpha through a range of documents unlocked naturally as the game is progressed. The story is based on science fiction and cyberpunk elements and touched on technological things such as A.I and sentient beings.
Part of me seems to think that games like this are hard to make unique due to their timed co-ordination styling, but Cytus Alpha is probably one of the most unique rhythm-based games I have ever played partly down to its gorgeous design and to how its played.
First off I’ll start by saying just how well this game’s menus are designed. They’re clean and minimalistic in terms of colors and in a way they remind me a bit of Assasins Greed games with their use of abstract shapes. Everything here is pretty straightforward and obvious from the get-go, although I did have one slight issue and that is that for some odd reason the game was set by default to find matches online which lead me to think this was an online-only game until eventually, I found a setting to turn off matchmaking.
Where a lot of rhythm-based games tend to just use buttons on a controller Cytus Alpha uses a touch screen and this makes it possible to have unique button types. Instead of just tapping to the rhythm this game will also have you swiping the screen and pressing down on it all while still successfully playing to a beat. It’s also possible to play with the Joy-cons although to be honest I haven’t and have opted to stay with the screen.
One slight issue I find when playing the game in handheld mode using the touchscreen is that it does get quite uncomfortable if you’re trying to hold the Switch at the same time. It’s much easier both in terms of comfort and towards difficulty if you lay down with the Switch flat on the floor in front of you.
Make no mistake Cytus Alpha is a challenging game that requires both speed and good co-ordination to keep the beat going well. You will find a very useful difficulty option that uses numbers to inform you how difficult a track is both in its easy mode and its hard mode. You can select which difficulty you’d like before starting each track rather than just having to play the game through in one.
Once I started to play levels over and over again I began to successfully chain the rhythm together in a way that made me realize each note I was pressing was well-timed with the music. On several occasions, this has had me bopping my head and shaking my body a bit as I felt like I was in the moment and in sync with the music myself.
A tutorial mode is included and I would highly recommend you take part in it before playing because as I said earlier this rhythm game isn’t just about tapping the right note, there’s also swiping and holding to be done.
The speed of each song is obviously different and such as I experienced you will come across some tunes you’re instantly good at and then some you’ll have to practice over and over again just to get beyond a fail mark, but I like this as it gives me a sort of sense of achievement but mainly because I get to listen to some of the awesome tracks over and over again.
Talking of tracks Cytus Alpha packs in just over 200 of them which is a lot for a game of this type. Some are from the original mobile release and the others were specifically designed for this version and you won’t find them on the mobile game. You’re not expected to like every single one of them and I can certainly say there are a few I can’t stand but the majority of them are surprisingly good.
If you fancy taking your skills or lack thereof into the online world, then you’ll be happy to know an online multiplayer mode is featured and you can play against up to two other players in one sitting. Do remember though, that a subscription to Nintendo Switch Online is required to use this mode.
At £44.99 or $49.99 I do feel the price of this game is slightly steep considering you don’t do much in comparison to other games and add that to the fact it started off its life as a mobile phone game.
In conclusion, Cytus Alpha really does impress me and that says a lot considering that most rhythm games follow a boring old pattern, yet this one takes the genre and makes it its own as if were the king of them. Over 200 tracks, a minimalistic yet stylish design and the desire it creates for success really do make this an amazing game overall.
That concludes our Cytus Alpha review. You can purchase the game as a physical edition from retailers or as a download from the following links.