On Monday Apple
released a version 7.5 update
to iTunes that, among other things, added support for Phase, a new interactive music game. Now
is available for purchase and download from the iTunes Store for $4.99.
Published through MTV Networks/Viacom, Phase is playable on third-generation iPod nanos, iPod classics and fifth-generation iPods. Phase lets you listen to songs in your iTunes library while actually playing them as an interactive game. You click and glide the iPod’s Click Wheel along with the rhythm of the music, trying to catch notes and flowing sweeps, collecting bonus phrases for extra points.
With the installation of iTunes 7.5, a new playlist has been created, called Phase Music. You simply drag and drop the songs you want to listen to while you play Phase into that playlist, and iTunes will automatically create the gameplay information for these songs. When you sync the playlist to the iPod, that acts as the soundtrack for the game.
In Phase, it’s your goal to catch colored music notes by pressing the left, center and right buttons as the notes reach their targets. It’s the same basic gameplay concept that’s powered previous Harmonix-developed hit games such as Guitar Hero and FreQuency. Occasionally flowing sweeps appear, and you have to slide your finger across the Click Wheel to catch them. You can max out your streak multiplier and capture all parts of sweeps and specially-colored bonus phrases for additional points, collecting stars along the way. Collect enough stars and you’ll make it through checkpoints in songs. If you fail to earn green stars at the checkpoint, you lose hearts — lose enough hearts and it’s game over.