A fun app that makes a good introduction to rhythm for young children.
Rhythm Friends is an app that aims to teach children about rhythm and keeping time, without bogging them down with other aspects of playing an instrument. By isolating this one skill, and presenting it in a user-friendly way, it allows children to quickly develop their sense of rhythm, which can then be transferred to other areas such as learning an instrument, singing and so on.
The basic premise of the app is that you have to help two frogs to catch flies by pressing buttons on the screen at the right time. If you catch enough flies, you can earn a gold, silver or bronze star – which quickly tells the user how well they did on each song. The free app contains a set of 3 songs, but you can add to these with two new packs of four songs each that can be purchased from within the app. These would help young learners to keep practising without getting bored of repeating the same few songs. There is a definite range of difficulty, with some songs being decidedly easier than others. I think the app would have benefited from making the difficulty of each song explicit – giving you the change to progress along the scale from easier to harder.
The gameplay itself is very clear, with the two colour-coded frogs corresponding to a coloured button at the bottom of the screen. As the notes move across it is obvious when to hit each note, and a clear help page explains this in advance too. The layout throughout is very simple and clear, with well-designed graphics and menus. The sound is also clear and distinct, which is a necessity given the objective of the app.
Overall, this game is of clear benefit to children wanting a way to practice playing notes in rhythm. By concentrating on a single skill, this app makes sure that it delivers on its aims. In further updates, it would be good to see the clearer progression of difficulty, and also some record of that progress as a user improves their scores over time, but as a casual learning tool, this achieves exactly what it intends to.
From the Developer
Rhythm Friends is a music timing game that introduces the basic concepts of rhythm. Children tap their fingers to the beat to create their favorite songs in a playful manner.
Two adorable frogs, Earl and Pearl, gobble up the notes as they are played and provide feedback on the accuracy of the child's timing.
Inspired by my young daughter's music lessons, Rhythm Friends, was created to reinforce musicality without the added complexity of learning notes and proper finger placements. This game is perfect for the child just starting to explore music or for those who are already learning on an instrument and looking for a fun way to improve their timing.
The more complex songs challenge the child's ability to use both their left and right hands together.
Game includes free songs as well as the option to purchase more through the App Store.
Come play with Earl and Pearl!