Practical Magic: Audiosurf
Those handsome rakes over at Eurogamer are previewing the IGF finalists and they were kind enough to ask me to take a look at psychedelic music-morpher, Audiosurf. It's a game that turns your MP3 collection into a kind of Wipeout-moulded puzzle game. Neat trick, I thought, and then proceeded to encapsulate my glee and mild bafflement in a moderately long-winded description:
The program analyses the track before you play, creating the pacing and the gameplay space that you're going to be surfing through. This means that as the music peaks, so do the visuals that surround your game. If you're in a particularly intense section, then the chances are that the music will be rising as you play. When the music hammers home its major releases, so the neon track scintillates around you. As you'll see when you have a play of Audiosurf (because I'm sure every gamer and his roadie will want to take a look at this), it's a deeply impressive effect, especially when the program takes just a few seconds to figure out how to deliver your MP3 back to you in audio-visual gameplay form.
Stuff like that.