Elite Beat Agents is a rhythm based game, so remember to turn up the sound or use headphones while playing!
The Globe Interface
In single player mode, missions (songs) are selected on a 3d globe. Missions are represented by objects on the globe with either a "Help!" or a medal hovering above them, depending on if the song is passed. The globe can be panned around with the touch screen.
The official website has videos on how to play, straight from the game.
The main object of the game involves tapping numbered buttons on the touch screen, while a story plays out on the top screen. There are three different types of objects:
These are round buttons with a number on them. They are color coded by phrase. If more than one button is in a phrase, then the buttons should be tapped in the numbered order. There is usually a trail between the buttons to help with the order. Additionally, the easiest difficulty mode also has a hand that moves and points to the button that should be hit next.
The buttons should be tapped in time to the music, and it is usually obvious when to tap them. However, there is also a timing circle which slowly decreases in size until it is the size of the button. The buttons should be tapped when the circle is the same size.
Phrase markers require the stylus to be held down along a colored trail, and moved along at a rate indicated by, oddly enough, a rolling beach ball. The trail starts with what looks like a regular button. Little dots along the path are spaced by the songs tempo, and are gobbled up in a manner very similar to Pacman by the rolling beach ball. The beach ball will glow with a ring if the stylus is kept on it.
Some phrases are doubled back one or more times. If that is the case, an arrow appears at the end of the phrase indicating the turnaround. The phrase may be turned around more than once. The phrase will end if the button at the end of the phrase is blank.
When a large starred turntable with meters on either side appears, scrub the touch screen in circles like mad! Any direction will work, as long as it's fast. The more you spin the more the meters on the screen fill. They must be filled all the way to get the beat, but if there's still time to spin (indicated by the decreasing circle), than extra spins add bonus points, so spin fast and spin often!