One of the best things about indie games right now is the way that they blend or combine different genres. In the search for new experiences, there are indie developers all over the world throwing two different styles of games together to see what they can create. One of these genre-blending efforts is Soundfall from Drastic games. This fun little game is a rhythm-action dungeon crawler. I know this may sound weird but trust me, it works.
Each level of Soundfall is created by the music. The developers use tech to analyse various elements of the music, and that creates a level that fits it. This means that the music affects the look and the layout of the stage and they are then procedurally generated. It’s hard to see quite what differences the music actually makes as I only played two levels, but it’s a great idea.
You play as a Melody, a young audiophile, who finds herself in the world of Symphonia. As well as trying to find her way home she has to save this strange world from Discord, a darkness that is a threat to not only Symphonia but Melody as well. You will shoot and slash your way through the Discord to make your way through Symphonia and eventually home.
The action is shown from a top-down view and plays a little like a twin-stick shooter. The left thumbstick controls your movement while the right thumbstick aims your attacks. Your attacks consist of your gun (which is controlled by the right trigger) and your sword (mapped to your left trigger). You aren’t just going to want to go shooting and slashing your way around though. You need to pay attention to the timing of the music and line your attacks up with these. Shooting or slashing in time to the beat will result in much more powerful attacks. If you have no sense of rhythm, then you can still use attacks they just aren’t as effective.
You are going to want to try and make the most of your attacks though as once enemies show, things can get a little challenging. There are some enemies that fire so many projectiles that you could be mistaken for thinking you’re playing a bullet hell game. You quickly learn which enemies need to be given respect, or at least distance, and which you should just wade into while vigorously introducing them to your sword. Of course, all of this is done to the flow of the music. As the music flows so does the appearance (or lack) of enemies.
Soundfall is definitely one of those games that you need to see in action rather than just reading about it (though I thank you for reading this). It’s a great blend of genres that just works so well. I definitely want to see more of the game to see how much variety is on offer both regarding the themes of the levels and how big a difference the music really makes to each level. Fortunately, we won’t have too long to wait as Soundfall is eyeing up an early 2019 release.