Kingdom Hearts spin-off game will put rhythm skills to the test

If you've still got a hankering for Kingdom Hearts even after Kingdom Hearts 3, then we've got some good news for you: the franchise is returning this year with a new game. Before you get too excited, you should know that this isn't a new action RPG game like we'd expect from the series. Instead, it's a rhythm game, which is quite the departure for the franchise.

Dubbed Kingdom Hearts: Melody of Memory, this appears to be something of cross between Kingdom Hearts and rhythm games like Guitar Hero or Rock Band, where notes come down a track and players have to press buttons and perform actions in time with them. It's definitely unlike anything we've seen from the Kingdom Hearts series before, but a rhythm game could be a smart move.

After all, Kingdom Hearts has been home to some stellar music throughout the years, and in the trailer you see embedded above, we hear a handful of the series' famous songs as Sora and various Disney characters progress through stages. We also catch a glimpse of a Gummi Ship navigating what appears to be an overworld map, while the latter half of the trailer suggests that Kairi will play a central role in this game.

So, this announcement will definitely take some Kingdom Hearts fans by surprise, but that may not necessarily be a bad thing. Square Enix already has some experience in the rhythm game space thanks to its Theatrhythm Final Fantasy titles, so hopefully that translates well to the Kingdom Hearts franchise.

At the moment, all we have to go on is the Japanese trailer that was posted by Square Enix today, but at the end of that trailer, we get confirmation that Melody of Memory will be launching worldwide later this year. It'll be available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch.