Implayed (Episode 26): Auditorium

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I’ve always loved games that have tied gameplay with music and sound. I love me some good music, and if I am able to influence that sound with the actions I take while I play, I’m generally a happy camper. I suppose this love of music games came up ever since I played Audiosurf for a while.

This is different though. Auditorium combines simple gameplay elements with hauntingly beautiful music in order to keep you concentrated on the task of guiding glowing particles to boxes. Fill all the boxes for a few seconds, and you’re off to the next level, testing what you’ve learned or giving you yet another element you can use to influence the waterfalls of particles.

It’s simplistic, especially considering its Flash game origins, but it turns out that the package feels like a lot more than the sum of its parts. The music helps you relax, but the game itself tends to be somewhat of a brain-teaser, sometimes making you plan ahead as to where you are going to place the next elements in order to complete the puzzle. It’s not what I tend to see as an easy game, and sometimes it may even feel a tad frustrated if you simply can’t come to an elegant solution.

Coming up with the solution is quite satisfying.

Coming up with a solution is quite satisfying.

Fortunately, the game simulates the flow of particles in real time, regardless of your actions, so you may move some elements around just enough to fill the boxes up for a couple of seconds. It doesn’t always work, but when it does, it feels like you’ve taken something of a shortcut.

It’s hard to describe the game – even the screenshots don’t really make it justice from the presentation standpoint, but it’s odd, technical wise. I’m not sure if it’s a straight port from Flash, but it’s stuck at the low resolution of 828×466, and making the game full screen only serves to upscale it, rendering it rather pixelated on larger monitors. It sure looks rather pretty, considering all the nice lights and the awesome music in the background, so I guess it makes up for it.

The colors are definitely pretty.

The colors tend to fit a theme.

You can simply play 5 acts of it online here. If you do want to play the entire game (there’s extra levels in the PC version), then you can dish out 6 Euros on Steam. It does look quite a bit better on the PS3, so if you have the chance, get it from PSN.

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