Rhythm Heaven

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Rhythm Heaven
North American game cover.
Developer(s)Nintendo SPD
TNX Music Recordings
Director(s)Kazuyoshi Osawa
Artist(s)Ko Takeuchi
Masami Yone
Platform(s)Nintendo DS
  • JP: July 31, 2008
  • NA: April 5, 2009
  • EU: May 1, 2009[1]
  • AU: June 4, 2009

Rhythm Heaven,[a] known as Rhythm Paradise in Europe and Rhythm World in Korea, is a rhythm video game developed by Nintendo SPD for the Nintendo DS. It is the second (first in the west) game in Nintendo's Rhythm Heaven series, following the Japan-only Game Boy Advance title Rhythm Tengoku, and was succeeded by Rhythm Heaven Fever for the Wii and Rhythm Heaven Megamix for the 3DS. The game was released in Japan on July 31, 2008, in North America on April 5, 2009, in Europe on May 1, 2009, and in Australia on June 4, 2009. It was released worldwide due to the success of the GBA game which preceded it.


Unlike its GBA predecessor which uses button controls, Rhythm Heaven is played using the touch screen with the DS held vertically. Throughout the game, players use the stylus to play through several rhythm-based levels known as Rhythm Games, each with their own specific rules. Controls used include tapping the touch screen, holding the stylus down on the touch screen, dragging it across the screen and flicking it off the screen. A guitar-based minigame late in the game known as Rockers, along with the unlockable guitar lessons, also include the use of the DS's shoulder buttons to bend guitar notes.

The game's fifty Rhythm Games are split into ten sets, each consisting of four Rhythm Games and a themed Remix level that incorporates the previous games (or more) into one song. In each Rhythm Game, the player must attempt to keep with the rhythm throughout the level, receiving a rank at the end of the game depending on how well they did. To clear a Rhythm Game and progress onto the next game, the player needs to get a 'Just OK' or 'OK' rank. By receiving a 'Superb' rank on each Rhythm Game, players receive Medals which unlock bonus content, such as Endless Games, Rhythm Toys and Guitar Lessons. Sometimes, a Rhythm Game that a player has received a Superb rating on may be randomly selected for a Perfect attempt. Only appearing on the menu three times before moving elsewhere, these runs require the player to complete a Rhythm Game perfectly without making any mistakes. Completing these perfect runs earns more bonus features in the cafe, such as song sheets and lyrics.

List of Rhythm Games and Remixes[edit]

The following Rhythm Games, Remixes and Endless Games are playable in Rhythm Heaven.

Set 1 Set 2 Set 3 Set 4 Set 5 Set 6 Set 7 Set 8 Set 9 Set 10 Endless Games Credits
Built to Scale Rhythm Rally Love Lizards Munchy Monk Splashdown Space Soccer Built to Scale 2 Rhythm Rally 2 Moai Doo-Wop 2 Shoot-Em'-Up 2 Coin Toss Airboarder i
Glee Club Shoot-Em'-Up Crop Stomp DJ School Big Rock Finish Lockstep The Dazzles 2 e Fillbots 2 Karate Man 2 h Splashdown 2 Shoot-Em'-Up (Endless)
Fillbots Blue Birds Freeze Frame Drummer Duel Dog Ninja Rockers Frog Hop 2 f Blue Birds 2 Glee Club 2 Munchy Monk 2 Tunnel
Fan Club a Moai Doo-Wop The Dazzles b Love Lab Frog Hop c Karate Man d Fan Club 2 g Lockstep 2 Space Soccer 2 Rockers 2 Samurai Slice
Remix 1 Remix 2 Remix 3 Remix 4 Remix 5 Remix 6 Remix 7 Remix 8 Remix 9 Remix 10 Glass Tappers
Rhythmove Dungeon

^a Uses the song "Thrilling! Is This Love?".
^b Uses the song "Love Ooh Ooh Paradise".
^c Uses the song "Young Love Rock 'n' Roll".
^d Uses the song "Struck By the Rain".
^e Uses a remixed version of "Love Ooh Ooh Paradise".
^f Uses a jazzy instrumental version of "Young Love Rock 'n' Roll."
^g Uses a remixed version of "Thrilling! Is This Love?".
^h Uses a remixed version of "Struck By the Rain".
^i Uses the song "That's Paradise".


Rhythm Heaven uses original music composed by Tsunku and Masami Yone, with vocals by TNX artists including Canary Club, The Possible, and Tsunku himself (credited as Occhama[2]). These vocals were re-recorded in English for the Western version by other vocalists (most notably Ayaka Nagate, a former member of the Tsunku-produced Coconuts Musume), as were some of the voice cues. There were plans to include the Japanese songs in the music player section, but they were soon taken out due to space restrictions. Soundtrack albums for the game have been released in Japan, but not in North America. The European version has been fully translated in Spanish, English, French, German, and Italian language, including the vocal songs in the Fan Club, The Dazzles, Frog Hop, Karate Man, and Airboarder Rhythm Games.


Rhythm Heaven was developed by Nintendo SP&D1 with the assistance of Tsunku, a music record producer, both also worked on the original Rhythm Tengoku. The conception of the game is credited to Nintendo programmer Kazuyoshi Osawa who previously worked on Metroid and WarioWare titles.[3][4]

A Rhythm Heaven Wii game, Rhythm Heaven Fever, succeeded this version; Nintendo president Satoru Iwata saw potential in the game in people's living rooms. He replied: "When you see others play with the game and notice that he or she misses out on being perfectly in rhythm, it can also be surprisingly fun."[5]

Six years later, another Rhythm Heaven game was released for the Nintendo 3DS under the title of Rhythm Heaven Megamix. It features games from the DS installment, as well as rhythm games from Fever and the original Rhythm Tengoku along with brand-new ones such as Pajama Party, Blue Bear, and Tongue Lashing (as well as newer variants of older ones, such as Super Samurai Slice and Karate Man Senior).


Aggregate score
Review scores
Game Informer7.5/10[12]
GamePro5/5 stars[13]
Game RevolutionB[14]
GameSpy4/5 stars[16]
Giant Bomb5/5 stars[18]
Nintendo Power9/10[20]
The Daily Telegraph8/10[21]
Wired9/10 stars[22]

The game received "favorable" reviews according to the review aggregation website Metacritic.[6] In Japan, Famitsu gave it a score of one eight, two nines, and one eight, for a total of 34 out of 40.[11]

411Mania gave it a score of nine out of ten and called it "a must-own that won’t disappoint."[23] Wired gave it a similar score of nine stars out of ten and called it "the sort of novel, deep, challenging game that people accuse Nintendo of not creating anymore."[22] The Daily Telegraph gave it eight out of ten and said that the touches "elevate [the game] from a fun but throwaway music game into an addictive quest for rhythm perfection. It’s not a music game as wonderfully elaborate as the superb Elite Beat Agents, but its ostensibly simple mechanics give it a sense of purity that a lot of games lack."[21] The A.V. Club gave it a B and called it "the cutest drum machine on the market."[24]

As of 11 January 2009, Rhythm Heaven had sold 1,568,000 copies in Japan.[25] It was also the sixth best-selling game in Japan in 2008.[26]


  1. ^ Known in Japan as Rhythm Tengoku Gold (リズム天国ゴールド, Rizumu Tengoku Gōrudo, lit. Rhythm Heaven Gold)


  1. ^ East, Tom (March 16, 2009). "Rhythm Paradise Comes To DS In May". Official Nintendo Magazine. Archived from the original on October 8, 2014. Retrieved August 18, 2016.
  2. ^ http://ameblo.jp/tsunku-blog/entry-10167669542.html
  3. ^ "Iwata Asks - Rhythm Heaven". Nintendo. Archived from the original on August 13, 2009. Retrieved August 18, 2016.
  4. ^ "Kazuyoshi Osawa Video Game Credits and Biography". MobyGames. Retrieved July 30, 2009.
  5. ^ Alexander, Leigh (January 28, 2011). "Nintendo Reveals Traditional Kirby Game, Rhythm Heaven In Works For Wii". Gamasutra. Retrieved January 28, 2011.
  6. ^ a b "Rhythm Heaven for DS Reviews". Metacritic.
  7. ^ Bennett, Colette; North, Dale (September 12, 2008). "Destructoid Import Review: Rhythm Tengoku Gold". Destructoid. Retrieved August 19, 2016.
  8. ^ Bennett, Colette; North, Dale (April 2, 2009). "Destructoid review: Rhythm Heaven". Destructoid. Retrieved August 19, 2016.
  9. ^ Walker, John (August 27, 2008). "Rhythm Tengoku Gold". Eurogamer.
  10. ^ Parkin, Simon (May 4, 2009). "Rhythm Paradise". Eurogamer. Retrieved August 18, 2016.
  11. ^ a b James (2008). "Famitsu Review Scores". Pure Nintendo Magazine. Retrieved August 18, 2016.
  12. ^ Miller, Matt (May 2009). "Rhythm Heaven: Unique Twist on Rhythm/Music Genre". Game Informer (193). Retrieved August 18, 2016.
  13. ^ Herring, Will (April 7, 2009). "Rhythm Heaven". GamePro. Archived from the original on April 18, 2009. Retrieved August 19, 2016.
  14. ^ Tan, Nick (April 6, 2009). "Rhythm Heaven Review". Game Revolution. Retrieved August 19, 2016.
  15. ^ McShea, Tom (April 1, 2009). "Rhythm Heaven Review". GameSpot.
  16. ^ McGarvey, Sterling (April 7, 2009). "GameSpy: Rhythm Heaven". GameSpy. Retrieved August 19, 2016.
  17. ^ "Rhythm Heaven Review". GameTrailers. April 10, 2009. Archived from the original on June 29, 2015. Retrieved August 18, 2016.
  18. ^ Gerstmann, Jeff (April 3, 2009). "Rhythm Heaven Review". Giant Bomb. Retrieved August 19, 2016.
  19. ^ Harris, Craig (March 31, 2009). "Rhythm Heaven Review". IGN. Retrieved August 18, 2016.
  20. ^ "Rhythm Heaven". Nintendo Power. 241: 86. May 2009.
  21. ^ a b Hoggins, Tom (April 28, 2009). "Rhythm Paradise review". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved August 18, 2016.
  22. ^ a b Kohler, Chris (April 3, 2009). "Review: Rhythm Heaven Is Portable Music Brilliance". Wired. Retrieved August 19, 2016.
  23. ^ Aber, Trace (April 11, 2009). "Rhythm Heaven (DS) Review". 411Mania. Retrieved August 18, 2016.
  24. ^ Fischer, Russ (April 6, 2009). "Rhythm Heaven". The A.V. Club. Archived from the original on April 9, 2009. Retrieved August 18, 2016.
  25. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-08-03. Retrieved 2009-01-09.
  26. ^ Parfitt, Ben (January 9, 2009). "JAPANESE 2008 MARKET REPORT". The Market for Computer & Video Games. Retrieved August 18, 2016.

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