Harmonix Phases onto iPod

Latest game from developer of Guitar Hero, Rock Band now available for Apple's portable media player.

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Last week, word of a new Harmonix project surfaced in the form of a Game Developers Conference session listing titled "Your Music is the Game: Designing the OTHER Project at Harmonix." The session description mentioned that the game would bring the developer's trademark beat-matching gameplay (as seen in Amplitude, Frequency, and the Guitar Hero series) with procedurally generated note charts to a "new and uniquely cool platform."

This should look familiar to Harmonix fans.

Today, Harmonix not only officially announced the game, but also released it. Currently available for the iPod Nano, iPod Classic, and fifth-generation iPods, Phase allows players to play a simple beat-matching game with the media player's clickwheel while listening to a special "Phase Music" playlist. Said playlist must be manually created in iTunes because the game cannot automatically draw from a user's music library.

The game takes songs between 30 seconds and 30 minutes in length that are stored in .MP3, .M4A, or .M4P file formats, and converts the music into a playable level. The game also comes with a handful of tracks already on it, including songs from Harmonix favorites Freezepop and Bang Camaro.

Players can play one song at a time or five-song minimarathons, and high scores are stored on the iPod for bragging rights. Phase is available on the iTunes music store for $4.99.

This is not the first such iPod game to incorporate a user's music library into the gameplay. In August, NanaOn-Sha, developer of PaRappa the Rapper and Vib Ribbon, released musika, which based its gameplay on the names of tracks on the user's iPod.

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