Developer: Andrew Gleeson
Launcher Quote: “for those who feel adrift in this endless void.”
Something that I feel is underestimated sometimes these days in a world of games known for their visuals are the audio cues that make a game. We get caught up in being amazed by the graphics or the story, or the scenery that we sometimes look at audio and treat it as an afterthought. There are exceptions of course, quality voice work being one of the more obvious ones that people understand and notice right away, but for the most part audio is not always the first thing that people think of for why they might like or see in a game.
Today’s entry changed that a bit, mostly because in its presentation you can’t help but notice that the audio is the thing that is driving the experience. True to the launcher quote, the sort of space void of the game gives you the sense of floating or drifting in nothingness, but that is where the audio cues and sounds come in. Figuring out the way to get them to trigger as well as work your way through the game’s goals was driven specifically by responding to those audio sounds, a sort of guiding light in the black space that you were occupying.
What it reminded me a lot of was the surge of audio and music games that emerged as successors to the DDR and other rhythm games that at one time were a significant part of games as a quirky genre different than your normal bread and butter of action, RPG, strategy, and other game types. Games like Beat Saber, Audiosurf, and Soundboxing rely on a bit more of a visual element to this game for certain, but the core of advancement and gameplay is always matching your movements or your play to the music or audio being given to you. Like with many entries in the meditation games series, presenting an experience like this one reminds people that one needn’t have a huge and expansive game experience to create something that is enjoyable to someone, especially when that experience is one driven by something that isn’t always at the forefront of games. It’s an almost relaxing feeling, and definitely something that I needed going into the end of the week.