Flaming Notes is a game that combines entertainment and learning, as it tries to teach you the secrets of the music staff through playing. Although it can teach you how to read the basic music notes, for me it kind of fails in the entertainment department, as it lacks the fun part. Overall, it’s a good start, but it needs work.
Flaming Notes is a mobile game built for iOS, Android and Windows Phone. It can also be played online, via the developer’s website at Adhyet.com.
If you’ve ever played any of the Rock Band games, you will be familiar with Flaming Notes, as it taps into a similar gameplay design. In this game, the player is presented with the music staff (a set of five horizontal lines and four spaces that each represent a different musical pitch).
Under the staff, you will see the basic musical octave (C D E F G A B C), with each letter also being a button. Between the buttons is a multiplier, as well as BPM (beats per minute) counter.
At the beginning, the game randomly generates quarter notes (crotchets) that move from right to left. Once they reach the designated spot on the staff, the player must guess which note it is, by pressing the corresponding button located below.
The more notes you guess correctly, the more points you win, and the faster the notes scroll.
In terms of learning anything, the game can teach you the basics of music. Think of it as learning the alphabet – this game can teach you how to recognize letters.
In terms of entertainment, the game is quite a disappointment, I have to say. It has a backing track, a song which plays while you play the game. And with the notes being randomly generated, they are completely out of sync with what’s playing underneath, which was pretty confusing at first, and then annoying after a few tries.
I’d love to see a couple of real songs tossed into the mix, just so you can feel like you’re playing real music. The only *real* challenge the game presents is the speed, which increases as you chain a couple of successful notes, and even that can become more tiring than entertaining.
The Added Value
However, what I really like about the game is how it splits the free content from the premium, paid content. Free features include the treble clef, the practice mode (each note gets a helpful hint to let the player learn), fixed and varying BPM modes, a leaderboard to submit your score and the achievements board.
And that’s enough for any player to get to know the game and see if he or she enjoys it and would like to build on that experience. The premium mode offers the bass clef, ledger line notes, major and minor scales, accidentals (sharps and flats), and disables all ads.
Flaming notes is off to a great start and has huge potential to be a wonderful mobile app that teaches people something new, while they have fun. It’s a prospect that’s long been forgotten in games and a noble cause that needs support. However, it still needs some work. It feels more like a practice app than a game, and the devs should really look into bringing more entertaining elements in it.
The learning part could also be improved, with various time signatures, quavers, pause notes and a chromatic scale. And if there were a couple of classic songs to play over, people could even learn a thing or two about the history of music.
All of that could be topped off with pop-ups to, for example, Wikipedia, where the player could learn more about a particular song. In terms of design and interface, the game looks, feels and works great. Now it just needs some polishing.