Synaesthete is one of the numerous games to have emerged from the DigiPen game design courses, and like a few other titles from the prestigious
games “real-time interactive simulation” design course, it’s rather fun.
The concept is a sort of rhythm-action Robotron, with your tiny laser-pumping manbot running through arenas full of throbbing polygonal baddies and fighting them off by firing energy blasts derived from the beat-sequence timer thing (what is that called?) you get in games like Guitar Hero, or on the PC, Frets On Fire. The fighting therefore pulses to the beat of the music, which is a constant, flowing mix of dance music. And my screenshots really can’t capture that, can they? No.
Anyway, if I had a major problem with this neon-drenched arena-shooter it’d be that it’s all a bit spammy and easy – you don’t really have to hit the notes (and would struggle to in many cases) since you can pretty much piss out enough shooty stuff with keybashing to defeat the baddies. I’d like to have been forced to hold a bit more of a tune in my destruction. Nevertheless the choice of smartbomb and the tiny energy of your man-block protagonist make me very happen indeed. Good work, students.