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Top 3 most popular art styles in music games

In the first quarter of 2023, music games are evolving with new titles and updates, where visual design and art style play a crucial role in engaging players. We'll be discussing the top 3 most popular art styles in music games this quarter. Read on to find out which art styles are currently dominating the market!


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1. What is Art style in games?


The term "art style" is used to describe the visual design and aesthetic decisions that ultimately shape a game's overall appearance and ambiance. This encompasses a range of visual elements, including but not limited to the design of characters, environments, and user interfaces - all of which players interact with during gameplay. Art style can be determined by various aspects such as color, lines, images, lighting, shadow, detail, and complexity, all of which combine to create a cohesive and distinctive visual style for a game.


2. The vital role of Art style in game

The art style of a video game is an essential element that can impact a player's experience in multiple ways:

  • Attracting attention: A game's art style can help it stand out in a crowded market, drawing in potential players and increasing the game's visibility.

  • Enhancing engagement: A well-designed art style can enhance a player's engagement in the game world, contributing to a more enjoyable and memorable gaming experience.

  • Driving success: A unique and visually impressive art style can contribute significantly to a game's commercial and critical success, leading to positive reviews and user experience.

3. Top 3 most popular Art styles in Casual music games


Based on the survey conducted by Sensor Tower - a market leading App Store Optimization (ASO) data and insights about the 25 most downloaded music games on both the App Store and Google Play in 1st quarter 2023, here are the shortlist of top 3 trending Art styles:

The popular art style in iOS Music game
The popular art style in iOS (Source: SensorTower)

The popular art style in Android Music game
The popular art style in Android (Source: Sensor Tower)

Neon Art style: a distinctive graphic design style that originated in the 1980s. This style utilizes bright colors, neon elements, thin lines, strong lighting, and diverse shapes to create an eye-catching and extreme visual experience. However, this Art style limits attention to detail and complexity in design.

Examples: Tiles Hop, Beat Star, and Geometry Dash Lite.


Neon art style in music games
From left to right: Tiles Hop; Beat Star; Geometry Dash Lite

Flat Art style: a minimalistic design approach, utilizing simple and flat colors devoid of complex lines, shadows or borders. However, its main drawback is the limited range of colors and shapes available.

Examples: Magic Tiles, Piano Star, and Jingle Quiz.


Flat art style in Music Games
From left to right: Magic Tiles, Piano Star, Jingle Quiz

Cartoon (2D,3D): design style characterized by its simplicity and minimalism, using uncomplicated flat colors without borders, complex lines, or shadows. Its main strength lies in its ability to provide a clean and modern look to designs. However, it falls short when it comes to the range of colors and shapes available, which can limit its versatility.

On the other hand, Cartoon Art Style is identified by its use of clear and easily recognizable graphic elements, including circular lines, bright colors, and vivid design elements. It is commonly used to create a friendly and approachable atmosphere for users. However, it may not be suitable for certain music genres like electronic, techno, or deep music, which require a distinct aesthetic.


Cartoon (2D, 3D) art style in music game
From left to right: Duet Cats, My Singing Monsters, Like A Dino

The selection of an appropriate art style is critical in creating an enjoyable gaming experience for music games. It not only captures the player's attention but also generates a visually and sonically engaging atmosphere that complements the game's music genre. However, each art style has its unique advantages and limitations, making it essential to match the appropriate style with the game's music style to convey the desired gaming experience.


Author:

Phương Nguyễn - Liveops Creative Project

Coordinator at Amanotes

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