By Adam Smith on January 7th, 2013 at 3:00 pm.
I have an odd relationship with puzzle games. Actually, it’s quite an ordinary relationship in that I fail to love them if all they offer is a bulging brain, berating and bettering me, but add a fascinating personality and I forget that the whole encounter is based around trickery and one-upmanship. Music of the Spheres is about calculating angles and bouncing projectiles through carefully constructed levels in order to strike moving targets. Except it’s not. That’s how you interact with the game but it’s about Islamic art, and the intersections between mathematics and abstract visual poetry. It also creates haunting music, as the trailer below demonstrates.
My Grandfather’s Clock and Sonny Boy are the two songs most likely to make me think of childhood and crumple like a concertina. The IGF build I’ve played is calming, even when I find myself stuck, and although the game is harmonically constructed the movements of the angels, who dodge and flee, can lead to the threat of chaos. The music and lines resolve into structural contentment quite quickly though. The next video shows more puzzles.
There’s a beauty in the apparent simplicity of the design, which like much that is contemplative is far more complex than it first appears. It’s somehow reassuring to play a puzzle game that is entirely disinclined to frustrate, hoping to create mindful, soothing spaces instead. It’s due out in April and you can learn more here.