Developer: Aniplex Inc
Publisher: Aniplex Inc
Genre: Rhythm Game
Version Tested: iOS
Release Date: September 8th, 2020 (Japan), TBA (World)
To celebrate Fate/Grand Order‘s fifth anniversary on smartphones, Aniplex released a new smartphone rhythm game called Fate/Grand Order Waltz. A free-to-play mobile game available on iOS and Android in Japan with no in-app purchases. Yes, you read that right. I’m not sure when will they start monetizing the game, but as of this writing and four days after its “release,” I am able to play and restart a game to my heart’s content. That’s all with no ads, making the experience much more enjoyable
This game is also currently the number 1 music game in Japan App Store. Initially, they tried to make the game exclusive to the first 500,000 players on August 10. By September 8, they finally opened their doors to the public. It’s currently not available to Western users but following trends, that will likely come a year from the original release date.
Before starting your Master-Servant relationship here in Fate/Grand Order Waltz, you must choose your gender, name, and birthday. All of which are standard for this type of game. Take note though that the first two pieces of information are editable, and the birthday is not. I’m not sure why that is, but be careful when inputting that stat regardless. After the usual T&C, you meet your servant Mash Kyrielight. Yes, I know, she is one of the stars of F/GO, but I’d love to be able to choose the servant (*cough* Saber!). Nevertheless, Mash, with her pink hair and cute outfits, is definitely not bad.
So how does the game work? As a player who played Cytus, Cytus II, DEEMO, and VOEZ on mobile, I was astounded with the game’s different take on a rhythm game. At first glance, you’d expect it to take the standard rhythm game approach. I was wrong though, as Fate/Grand Order Waltz takes a unique approach to the formula. I haven’t played any idle games, but it’s very reminiscent of that style.
As I hop in my first ball with Mash, there are no lines or other shapes, just circles, as seen in the images above. They pop out all over the screen, and this includes some landing on her. The beat is sometimes too fast for early levels, leaving me unable to keep up. Despite that, she’ll continue to dance and sing like a cute servant with no pressure at all on your side. To be honest, you could just watch her dance and probably copy some of it if you’re into that kind of dancing. At one point, I scored a B, and it still let me move on to the next song. The ranking is as follows: S, A, B, C, the higher the rank, the more Dance Points (DP) you’ll get. What do you do with those DP? Well, I wasn’t able to spend mine yet, but according to the game, you can use it to “unlock the quest function in the exhibition.”
So far, I’ve unlocked four to five outfits. These outfits are for free, and Mash changes them on every song. There is also a trick in the game that while you two are dancing, you can change her outfit by tapping a specific direction on your phone. You have to replace the usual “circles” with the tap direction to activate.
Once finishing up with my run and heading back to the home screen, I discovered something interesting. The time of day matches your time, making it feel that much more authentic. Mash talked to me, saying that the food and dinner are ready. I was stunned. I didn’t know that the game will also act as a “virtual girlfriend” type. She’s susceptible to poking and will make random comments, which is really adorable.
There is a feature in the game that lets you use AR. Sadly, as I play the game, I can’t seem to activate it yet, probably because I’m still in the early stages of the game. I’m still not sure if it will only work if she’s dancing or on the home screen, or both!
Verdict: If you’re into rhythm, dance, idle, or virtual girlfriend games, I would recommend Fate/Grand Order Waltz. The way the camera moves in and out, Mash’s cute outfits, and her smile would make anyone’s heart melt. Aside from that, she can dance and sing well. Whenever you visit the Home screen, you can pan the camera left and right, zoom in and out, poke her, and watch her reaction.
The best thing about it is it’s free. Completely free and without ads. The graphics won’t let you down either. It’s really too good to be true, but I guess it’s Aniplex’s way of saying thank you as they released it during Fate/Grand Order‘s fifth anniversary. All in all, Fate/Grand Order Waltz offers a unique take on rhythm games while offering no ads and endless fun.