Headbangers: Rhythm Royale review

by on October 30, 2023
Release Date

October 31, 2023.


It’s not often I get truly invested in a multiplayer game, but it generally helps if it’s a battle royale. A whole lot of my favourite multiplayer games in recent years have pitted me against a massive number of other players in a battle for supremacy, from the wacky platforming of Fall Guys to the retro goodness of Super Mario 100. Even recently I’ve fallen back in love with Fortnite, and can’t remember the last day I didn’t play at least a few rounds of it. Headbangers: Rhythm Royale blends one of my favourite multiplayer genres with another of my favourite things – rhythm games.

The concept of Headbangers is pretty simple. You play as one of thirty pigeons competing in four random music based minigames. In each round the worst pigeons will be eliminated, until only one remains in the finale. It’s a similar setup to something like Fall Guys, but with a whole lot more hitting buttons in time to the music.

Headbangers: Rhythm Royale

Most of the minigames in Headbangers are pretty straightforward. One of the first I played involved a fitness instructor pigeon doing neck stretches you needed to repeat with the same rhythm, with the worst scoring birds eliminated. In the next game I was greeted by a giant record and tasked with hitting the buttons on it to the beat as it slowly rotated, and once I hit every note I qualified to compete in the next minigame.

You might think these games all sound a little similar (and you’d be right) but there are some really creative ones too. I particularly enjoyed a minigame that involved having to judge how open the mouth was on each picture of an opera singer to sing along to pieces of classical music, especially because you could never be sure which song you’d get.

I was surprised to find that there were even some minigames that didn’t actually require any rhythm. It’s a nice break from keeping the beat when you’re suddenly presented with a game where you need to pick out the different musical instruments from a piece of music, or have to remember how many times different characters sang. With twenty three different minigames I guess there has to be some variety, but I appreciated it all the same.

Headbangers: Rhythm Royale

It isn’t all variety in Headbangers though unfortunately. A lot of minigames are pretty much the same game but with a different skin, and even the ones that aren’t identical often still involve either remembering a tune or hitting notes to the music. If you love rhythm games then it likely won’t be too much of an issue for you, but it did mean that after a few rounds I usually felt like I’d had my fill of the game.

One thing that might keep you hooked on Headbangers: Rhythm Royale though are all the progression hooks. Like any good battle royale game there’s a (free) battle pass you can work your way through throughout each season of the game, full of plenty of different cosmetics and taunts to unlock. There are also quests to complete that unlock special more exciting costumes for your pigeon, which give you something to aim towards.

There are loads of amusing dress up options for your avian avatar. From funky afros to a full body violin costume, you’re sure to find something silly to wear that suits your personal taste. The general pigeon theme is just so charming, and allows for the cosmetics to be gloriously daft when applied to your goofy long necked bird.

Headbangers: Rhythm Royale

For the most part Headbangers: Rhythm Royale is a fun loving multiplayer game that I enjoyed playing, but it has a few issues. The actual gameplay just doesn’t feel particularly unique, which hit home particularly when playing a game that was identical to one from a well known Rhythm Heaven minigame. Although twenty three different games sounds like a lot it also won’t take you more than a few rounds to bump into repeating games, which is a bit disappointing.

Headbangers: Rhythm Royale provides a fresh take on the battle royale formula by making it all about rhythm, but unfortunately a lack of variety meant I never really wanted to play it for more than a few rounds before switching to something else. It’s fun enough to play and perhaps with a group of friends you might be entertained enough to jump in more often, but I just can’t imagine it becoming one of my regular multiplayer options at the moment.


A truly unique battle royal
The rhythm minigames are fun
The pigeon theme is great


A lot of the games feel very similar
You quickly bump into the same minigames

Editor Rating
Our Score


In Short

Headbangers: Rhythm Royale is a fun and unique take on the battle royal formula, but a lot of the rhythm minigames just feel way too similar.