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Portabliss: VidRhythm (iOS)

Did you know that you can download handheld games now? That's amazingly convenient! The only inconvenient part of it is finding the right games to buy -- and that's where we come in, with our Portabliss column. In each installment, we'll tell you about a downloadable game on the iPhone, iPad, Android device, DSi, 3DS, PSP, etc. Today: VidRhythm.

I've been debating for some time whether or not it would be kosher to refer to VidRhythm, Harmonix's new iOS music-making application, as a "game." I suppose splitting hairs in this debate could lead to the retroactive de-gamification of classics like the MTV Music Generator, but the lack of points, or a win scenario, or any form of competition seems to disqualify VidRhythm from eligibility to be written about on this, our gaming blog.

But I'm going to do it anyway. Because while VidRhythm lacks many of those oh-so-important game components, it brings a hell of a lot of manic, hilarious fun to the table.

Though the videos created by VidRhythm may look like delicately tuned, meticulously timed productions, creating one is a breeze: You just have to fill in a small handful of song components with one-second clips of, well, anything. Each video slot provides you with instructions on the sound that clip should contain: A low "BOM" sound for the bass drum slot, or a high "eee" sound in the melody, the tone for which is provided by a tuner.

If you've got an ear for pitch, you can create harmonious masterpieces, like this one from Harmonix:

Or, if you're not the singing type, there are plenty of options for the spoken-word, slam poetry crowd. For example, check out our website's new theme song:

Or, as a friend figured out after a night of VidRhythm experimentation, you can ignore the instructions altogether, and create a cacophonous nightmare medley:

Or, you can just get really enthusiastic about cats:

I rest my case.

VidRhythm is available from the iOS App Store for $1.99. We're always looking for new distractions. Want to submit your game for Portabliss consideration? You can reach us at portabliss aat joystiq dawt com.

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