Music games are pretty fun. But they all seem the same. The majority of them are just “press the button in time” kind of games. They don’t really incorporate music into the actual gameplay. Now, when a game actually takes the time to make the music essential to the gameplay it blows my mind. Patapon, for instance, did just that as did Audiosurf. So does this week’s Indie Revolution game, Auditorium.
Auditorium is not yet complete. The version that I have linked to is the demo and yet from this demo, you can get a sense of how amazing the full version will eventually be. The demo version contains fifteen levels, split up into three different acts, with one preview level for a fourth act. The full game is said to contain around twenty acts as well as a level editor, to allow you to make your own puzzles which can incorporate your own music. There may also be a version available for the iPhone and iPod Touch which will be a fantastic game for playing on the move.
But anyway, let’s get down to the game itself. Auditorium is a Flash game developed by Cipher Prime, which consists of Dain Saint and William Stallwood. It is essentially a music puzzle game and it is a pretty simple game to get to grips with but manages to stay quite challenging and can take you quite a bit of time to master perfectly.
Auditorium is about trying to mix the different orchestral styles together to make that level’s song complete. To do this you need to layer the different styles and tracks by filing up all of the Audio Containers in the level. It sounds a lot easier than it is, but Auditorium allows you some freedom on how you approach the puzzles and inevitably finish the song. To fill up the Audio Containers you must direct the Flow into them. The Flow is the music itself, a stream of sound which can only be harmonised when it hits the correct Audio Container. The Flow comes in at a fixed point in each level and the player must manipulate the Flow to go into the Audio Containers.
The game provides a number of ways to do this. There are the traditional Up, Down, Left, Right Directional pads that must be placed into the level to move the Flow and then there are other pads, only one of which is available on the demo, which is the Attract Control that spirals the flow towards it. You will need to place the pads, during some levels, in exactly the right spot so the Flow is directed through the Colour Spheres, this changes the Flow’s colour to go into the right Audio Container
The thing that amazes me about this game is how beautiful it is. It reminds me, somewhat, of the upcoming PS3 game Flow in which you direct the wind to collect petals. The visuals and the music in this game are so beautiful and serene it’s hard to believe it’s only a Flash game.
The music in the game isn’t low production either. When you get the puzzles correct and the music is flowing into the Audio Containers, the different instruments in the different Containers begin to overlap creating sounds akin to that of a small orchestra. For instance, one Container could be of a group of violins whilst the next is a piano finally reaching a crescendo when all the Containers are filled,
As well as the beautiful music, the levels look amazing too. In some levels, when the Flow is split up into different colours, swirling across the screen; mixed with the music it creates a beautiful experience.
I cannot wait for the full release of this game, even more so if they release it for the iPhone and the iPod Touch because it is rare to find such a beautiful and amazing game made in Flash. Cipher Prime have done a superb job with Auditorium, creating a game that is like an orgasm of the senses.