Super Crazy Rhythm Castle Review

With It Takes Two and Sackboy: The Big Adventure, there seems to be a renewed interest in couch co-op games. Despite these release, I’m always concerned that couch co-op is on the verge of being left by the side of the road, yet here we are with another strong contender with Super Crazy Rythm Castle.

Grab three friends (or as many as you can wrangle these days) and jump into the new Little Big Planet/ Guitar Hero/ It Takes Two mashup simulacrum.

The musical lead-in to the king’s castle

License-Free Soundscape

After entering the looming castle of the mad rhythm king, you are placed in a room and tasked with playing alongside a pretty basic rhythm game. Something which effectively simulates Guitar Hero’s easy mode. This initial game (as well as all of the other rhythm games) is set to either a long forgotten Konami track, or a song which sounds like it was pulled from a license-free music library.

That may sound pejorative, but many of these tracks are ACTUALLY just songs you’d find in a sound library. I don’t mean this as a negative though as if you were to play more recognizable songs then it would undoubtedly break the odd-ball fantasy illusion, and I doubt they have the budget to commission 30+ original tracks for their co-op rhythm game that almost no-one knows about.

The tracks are actually quite good. I would never electively listen to them outside of the game, but for what they are and where they’re placed, I think they work perfectly.

My initial ‘ah-ha’ moment

Co-op Mashup Mania

When I said Guitar Hero-like what I meant was that you effectively just play Guitar Hero in each of the 30-odd levels. After the tutorial, you can also select between the normal or pro difficulties which just have you hit either 3 or 4 buttons respectively.

Initially, this seems very static and boring, and in no way does it seem like it would play that well in context of the rest of the game as you tend to focus on this small rhythm section and block out the rest of the game.

I though this would lead to the same problem that I had in the Witness, where I would be placed in this beautiful world and be asked to spend the majority of my time staring at puzzles on sheets of paper. Thankfully, I don’t believe this game falls into that trap.

The king’s influence on any given mission means he can impede your progress in any way he can think of. When he does this, it’ll either make the game more difficult or inscrutable for the one(s) playing. When this happens, one person will have to run around the level trying to reduce the king’s influence so that the other(s) can beat the stage. It’s a fairly simple formula, but it always leads to some intense and fun levels.

The hub world

The Solo Conundrum

i played most of this game by myself which is obviously not ideal. This is obviously not the intended way to play, but it’s the option I had at the time, and it somewhat hampered the experience.

Now, obviously you can’t play games like It Takes Two or A Way Out by yourself as doing so would be counterproductive and unreasonable, but you can play Little Big Planet by yourself because that doesn’t necessarily go against the core idea of the game. However, you can play this game solo and it DOES go against that core idea.

If you are playing by yourself, then every level beyond the starting few will be a tedious slog. With other people, you can laugh at your foibles and pick yourself up after failure, but in single player, this game can be infuriating. This infuriation is made all the worse by the fact that’s it’s a kid’s game with obviously whacky characters, in a bubbly, picturesque setting and bubble gum pop music.

Anytime you fail a level, you have to start again, which means you have to go through mash through the dialogue again, and listen to the entire 4-6 minute song again, and even THEN you might have to restart again anyway.

This should be obvious, but don’t play it by yourself; you can, but you shouldn’t. It should be pretty telling of the game’s quality then that even though I had a somewhat miserable time in places, I can still recognize that many of the moments that brought me frustration would undoubtedly be fixed by playing with someone.

The classic aubergine boss battle

And The Survey Says

At around 10-ish hours, the story is pretty sizeable for a co-op game like this. If you aren’t satisfied with this then you can grab your friends and compete in one of the many versus modes (something which honestly would have been nice to see in the story to further bolster the variety).

Hopefully some update in the future will add the ability to change the button mapping for the rhythm sections because try as I might I could never get used to pressing the d-pad in pro difficulty.

At $40, the asking price seemed a bit steep to me, but then again, this is the modern equivalent to a fairly generous budget title, so that may just a perception issue on my part.

If you’re looking for a co-op game to boot up around the holidays with some friends or are looking to force your family to bond while huddled around your “video game machine”, then this is a pretty great option.


  • Oddly mesmeric soundtrack
  • Smooth and responsive controls
  • A welcome couch co-op addition


  • Please add button mapping
  • Restarts emphasize the length of certain tracks

Super Crazy Rhythm Castle

Very Good

Assuming you have the people to play with, this is a wonderful option for some cozy couch co-op with friends.

Daniel Kelly
PS5 version reviewed