Rhythm-Based Actions

Rhythm-Based Actions

Actions that require players to time their actions several times in a row.

Real-time games require players to act due to events that occur in the game. When these required actions occur in rhythm, they force players to perform Rhythm-Based Actions, where the timing and stability over time can be just as important as performing the right action.

Example: Pappa the Rapper as well as dancing games such as Dance Dance Revolution require players to hit various buttons in certain combinations while following certain rhythms. Gameplay is eased by having music or songs that have the same rhythm the players must follow.

Example: Early sports games such as Decathlon primarily stimulated sports by requiring players to perform long sequences of Rhythm-Based Actions and judging the outcome from how well the players kept the rhythm.

Using the pattern

Rhythm-Based Actions are basically sequences of Extended Actions that require Timing in Real-Time Games. Depending on the nature of the actions, feedback to players takes different forms in Rhythm-Based Actions: where the actions represent dancing and other non-dangerous activities, Progress Indicators and Illusionary Rewards usually provide feedback to how well players are executing the actions, but few Rewards or Penalties that affect the actual activity are given; where the actions are related to Overcome goals or Combat actions such as Combos, failing to keep the rhythm often ends Extended Actions but has no further Penalties; and where the Rhythm-Based Actions have to do with movement-related Combos, the effect of failing to keep the rhythm often means that players have to suffer the Penalties associated with Deadly Traps.

Ultra-Powerful Events, Moveable Tiles, and Enemies with Reconnaissance goals can all be used to require Rhythm-Based Actions in games. The Right Level of Difficulty of these actions can easily be modulated by the tempo that has to be followed and by providing the Right Level of Complexity of the actions that have to be performed in that tempo.


Rhythm-Based Actions are actions performed with the intentions of achieving temporal Configuration goals in Real-Time Games. The motivation for the Rhythm-Based Actions often comes from Game Worlds where The Show Must Go On, and the players are either supposed to follow the rhythm of an Agent giving mentorshipor to avoid dangers in the world.

By requiring repetitious actions, either in tempo or in type of action, Rhythm-Based Actions can give Sensory-Motoric Immersion and is one type of player skill that can be the basis for Game Mastery in games and give variation to Polyathlons.


Instantiates: Game Mastery, Sensory-Motoric Immersion

Modulates: Real-Time Games, Configuration, Overcome

Instantiated by: Deadly Traps, Extended Actions, Timing, Ultra-Powerful Events, Combos, Moveable Tiles, The Show Must Go On

Modulated by: Right Level of Complexity, Illusionary Rewards, Reconnaissance, Progress Indicators, Right Level of Difficulty

Potentially conflicting with: