Thanks to Skunk Software for the review code
Title: Piano Teacher
System: Wii U (eShop)
Release Date: 09/01/2016
None of these Skunk Software titles contain a story, and the same applies here. Future games from the publisher that are the same will just have the story section cut out altogether.
The game itself opens with a strange three dimensional island in the background that has no meaning to speak of, with a pretty strange looking hint to use one finger for the piano playing. Outside of switching to a keyboard during the “lessons”, there’s nothing else to comment on.
Music and Sound
Being advertised as a Piano teacher, you’d expect a nice variety of songs to listen to, and while it does point out how a real pianist composed the soundtrack, the songs themselves are fairly standard, with tracks like Star Spangled Banner and Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. The previews for these tracks sound fine, but trying to play them in the same manner just will not work. The sound effects for winning and losing a stage, on the other hand sound much louder than the actual songs themselves, which can be a bit of a jumpscare if you try to play this with headphones.
Confession time: I’ve never played a Piano in my life. Having listened to a variety of excellent pianists, however it has been something that I wish I could learn to do just for a casual romp, and with Piano Teacher advertising itself as a tool to help people like me, I was curious to check this game out, so I started up the first level, thinking I’d learn sheet music techniques and practice until I get good at it, only to realize to my disappointment that this title is the definition of false advertising.
To start off with, you don’t really learn anything in Piano Teacher. The main goal of each stage is to follow along with the notes and try your best to get a three star ranking for each of the twenty stages. No sheet music, no tutorials, nothing, you just follow the computer and if you mess up too much you fail the stage. The lack of any sort of teaching (even in the manual) is just baffling for a game that advertises itself as such, but what makes things even worse is that if you get the hang of a song, you can’t just play it at your own pace. You must follow the computer at all costs, making each song a slow, boring drag at best, and unlike a proper rhythm game there’s no satisfaction for completing these songs outside of a perfect ranking.
Right off the bat, Piano Teacher reveals itself to be a big fat lie. There’s no teaching to speak of, the gameplay itself is slow and the content included absolutely does not justify the absurd price tag. Currently in the US, the MSRP for this eShop game is $39.99, the price of a 3DS retail game. This is a shameful, shameful excuse for an eShop title, and the absurd price and false advertising makes me absolutely convinced that this is a scam meant to drain unsuspecting eShop wallets.
No matter how interesting the concept is for you, or even if you have children who want to learn the piano, DO NOT BUY THIS GAME! Not even if it goes on a sale for $19.99. At most, this title should cost $4.99, and that’s being generous. I’m absolutely floored on why the developer went to such lengths to price a game like this so high, and even if its somehow because of the pianist licensed for the game, the amount of content and misleading title does this game no favors whatsoever. I give Piano Teacher a 0 out of 10.