In recent years I've become something of a rhythm game junkie, but I have to say, the core of the genre is starting to feel a bit rotten - or at least stale. By and large, it's the same basic idea: play along to your music. Run, jump, fight, or dodge while backgrounds morph, dance, and burst with color. I'm hardly burnt out on games like Soundodger, Crypt of the NecroDancer, Audiosurf, and the like, but I do think there's room for something different, something more. That in mind, I really like where Sentris is headed. It straddles the line between pulsating musical playground and full-on musical production, but in a way that doesn't rope off those with un-blistered fingers or un-whatever-happens-when-you-play-a-vuvuzela-ed lips. See what it's all about in video form below.
Watch the video all the way through, if you can. It doesn't do the best job of explaining, so it takes some time for the idea to fully click. I think I like it, though. Slowly, methodically solve puzzles, experiment, and stitch together your own sonic tapestry in the process. Simple, but with potential for a big payoff.
Here's the quick elevator pitch, via Sentris' Kickstarter page:
"I designed Sentris to help everybody feel the thrill of making music. There's no way to fake this experience. As you solve puzzles you are literally creating your own song. To play, you drop musical building blocks into a rotating circle. The individual blocks stack up to create a song that is uniquely yours. It's deceptively simple - easy to learn, hard to master. The concept is very new and experimental, and I believe it's a step forward for music games."
I think it could make for a nice way to relax, tune out the ceaseless madness of modern life, and - despite that - still come away having created something. That sounds like a magnificent way to unwind, if you ask me.
Sentris is seeking $50,000, and it's already about halfway there. What do you think of it? Is it music to your ears? Or, I suppose more importantly, to your wallet?