Shoot your music

  1. I love the basic idea of “riding your music” in Audiosurf, although I’m so bad at the puzzle bit that I’ve given up on driving anything but Mono.
  2. The Guardian Legend is one of my favourite games of all time, so I’m definitely up for some good vertical shooter action.

Now, here is Symphony, a vertical shooter that lets you shoot your way through the songs in your music collection. I am sold.

At first glance, Symphony is a very basic game — casual even. You can’t die (you just lose points and keep going), and your basic weapons can handle anything the game throws at you. If you only play a handful of songs, your impression will be that this is an easy game only good for killing a few minutes here and there.

Your impression will be wrong. For a game where you can’t die, Symphony gets hard fast. The points you lose when your ship explodes comes out of the same pool you buy new weapons and upgrades with, so if you progress up the difficulty levels too fast, the game will be harsh.

Not again.

Symphony is also more complex than initially indicated. Your ship can be customised quite a bit: It has four weapon slots, and you choose which weapon go in each slot, which direction they point in, and how you fire that weapon. The different weapons aren’t just for show, either. A setup that works well on a regular level can and will prove painfully useless when a boss shows up.

The story in Symphony, is, well, basically an excuse to shoot your way through your music collection. There’s not much to it. It’s silly, but the game doesn’t really need much of a backstory, and it backs up the heavy use of musical terms through the game.

On the technical side, Symphony supports a nice range of formats. MP3 and OGG are equally welcome, and if you keep a lossless music library, it handles that too. I do wish there was more filtering options than just “By Artist” and “By Album” in the game — finding what you want in a large collection can be cumbersome.

I would recommend this game if you like shooters, like the music gimmick, like games that require fast reflexes with an easy learning curve. I especially recommend shooting your way through Ugress.

You can get Symphony through Steam.

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