[PlayStation 5] Headbangers: Rhythm Royale Review

by Ceidz, Owner

Headbangers: Rhythm Royale from Team17 and Glee-Cheese is a light-hearted rhythm game in which you’ll go up against 29 gamers as you aim for the top. Check our Headbangers: Rhythm Royale review!

Headbangers is a light-hearted, rhythm battle royale game where you and 29 other Pigeons compete against each other to try and win the title of Master Headbanger! Compete against each other in mind-bending musical minigames, screw over your competitors with powerups, and collect Crumbs to customize your very own pigeon!


Headbangers: Rhythm Royale from Team17 and Glee-Cheese is a light-hearted rhythm game in which you’ll be taking on the role of a pigeon in a battle royale against 29 other players. Do you have what it takes to finish first? As is the case for most rhythm games, you’ll begin by calibrating your input latency. Then, you can select to play with or without PC players by activating Cross-Play. Playing with players on other platforms will keep your lobby full, which is great if you’re looking to have some non-stop fun. On the other hand, if you’re looking to have an easier time acquiring trophies, then I would recommend playing only with PlayStation players, as the community is smaller, and bots will fill up the missing places.

Headbangers: Rhythm Royale Review

Once the tournament begins, the game will randomly select one of its 23 different puzzle games for one of its four rounds. Out of the 30 players in the first round, only 20 will be able to make it to the second one. After that, only 10 players will be making it to the third round. For that final 4th round, only 5 players will enter, and then a winner will be declared.

The heart of the gameplay loop is composed of various mini-games that are mostly rhythm games. Mini-games are varied and go in many directions. Some of them were better than others, and this translated into the fun factor, which was directly affected by how entertaining each mini-game was on its own and how good of an overall selection you got in a set.

I was honestly disappointed because I thought this would be pure rhythm game like those I’m used to playing (DDR, or the surprisingly good [PlayStation 5] Rhythm Sprout Review), but most of the mini-games here focus on the fastest response time possible. Unfortunately, your personal response time is dependent on your distance/ping from the server, which might be affected if you’re playing on Console vs PC, and even your wireless DualSense might introduce a delay. This felt unfair as I’m sure I was fine with some games, but the opponent kept pressing faster than me on multiple different occasions. I might not be good, but twice, it was so unfair that I even wondered if I was playing against a cheating PC player.

Headbangers: Rhythm Royale Review

On the presentation side, I liked the graphics, and the game looks like a reality show. The background music was also nice, and I liked how the pigeon made sound effects like the minions. The game runs fluidly at 60 frames per second, but I thought that the loading between each mini-game was slow, often between 20 to 30 seconds. I do not think it is because of the PlayStation 5 hardware, however, and it might be caused by waiting for slower players.

On the trophies side, this game contains 27 trophies in total, split into 10 Bronze trophies, 11 Silver trophies, and 6 Gold trophies. Get all of them, and you’ll have a new Platinum trophy for your collection! This will be a very challenging Platinum trophy to achieve as it requires finishing first in a tournament… 50 times! The only way I can see this being fairly accessible is by disabling Cross-Play and playing only against the smaller PlayStation gamers community. This game is Cross-Buy between the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 versions, and both have separate trophy lists.

Headbangers: Rhythm Royale Review

Headbangers: Rhythm Royale is a mini-game-based rhythm game that will pit you against other players in a tournament. I thought that while some mini-games were quite fun, a few others were underwhelming and felt forced. This game has some good ideas, so it might click more with you than it did with me. Headbangers: Rhythm Royale is available as a Cross-Buy game, so your $19.99 purchase will allow you to download the PS4 and PS5 versions of the game at no extra cost.

This Headbangers: Rhythm Royale review is based on a PlayStation copy provided by Team17.

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