As many of you may have heard through the music blogosphere this week, Beck announced that his next full length album will be released as sheet music in December through a partnership with indie publisher McSweeney’s. Not to say that I’m not intrigued by the concept, I was a little disappointed that there wasn’t a fully produced album on the horizon. However, for those of you craving a new album, relief can be found in the excellent video game Sound Shapes by Queasy Games released this week for the PS3 and PS Vita.
Let me explain. Sound Shapes is a fun side scrolling platform game in which you control an amoeba-like creature and travel through the level collecting coins. These coins represent notes that are a part of a song as you travel further through the level. You can run and stick to things but avoid red creatures cause they can hurt you. Levels are displayed as “albums” and each “album” features an amazing pairing of musicians and indie studios like Beck and Pyramid Attack. Below is a clip of how Pyramid artist Steve Wilson created the art for Cities.
Thrilled about hearing new Beck music, I readily confirmed my $15 dollar purchase from PSN, blazed through the game’s easy tutorial and jumped to the Beck “album” eagerly awaiting the “title track.” I was greeted with a war-torn crumbling city that fused with Beck’s trippy and haunting song. Frantically I searched through the level delighted with intensity of the music with each coin. I. Was. Hooked.
Along with Cities, Sound Shapes’ features fantastic music from the game’s co-designer Shaw-Han Liem AKA I Am Robot and Proud, Deadmau5 and Canadian singer-songwriter Jim Guthrie. However, the levels are short and I did feel wanting more. But, not to worry. The best part about the game is the intuitive level editor where you can build your own musical gameplay fusions and post for the community or play hundreds of user created levels. It’s the best 15 bucks I’ve spent in a while.