Splendid Beats Music and Thoughts by Crispy / Leave Trace
Categories: Chill Room, Cool Hunting, Games, Visual Art

The fine folks from Mostrous, who provided us with some serious eye candy at Chillography 202, have just released Entranced for iPhone and iPod Touch. Here’s what they have to say about it:

Monstrous is proud to announce that Entranced is now available in the Apple iTunes store!

If you are new to Entranced, now is a great time to check out this visually stunning, action packed game that stimulates the eyes, ears, and mind!

Entranced is a fresh, finely-tuned visual music game that takes the experience of listening to music to an entirely new level, blending brilliant colors and intoxicating sounds into full synesthesia.

Each track is perfectly matched with custom visuals, creating a dreamlike experience that takes you deep into the song. Tap the beats to the rhythm of the music and watch the notes transform into beautiful and imaginative blooms. With 5 musical worlds and many more to come, you’ll enjoy hours of entertainment that will intensify your love for music.

Entranced showcases songs from some of the best DJs and musicians from around the world, including Makyo, Adham Shaikh, Sounds from the Ground, and Karsh Kale.

To celebrate the launch of Entranced, we’ve lowered the price by 50%!

Click here to buy the game for $1.99!

If you enjoy Entranced, please help us spread the word:
Join our Facebook fan page
Follow us on Twitter
Write a review on iTunes
Tell your friends!

Categories: Games

While walking home from the bus, listening to some tunes on my iPod Touch, I was contemplating the mechanics of an audio-only game that I could play while walking and not having to look at the iPod screen. I didn’t get very far, but it certainly got me intrigued by the idea and the usability applications, particularly by blind users. As a long-time DJ and musician, I’ve certainly done a lot of ear training, especially in arena of listening to many sounds playing simultaneously, and picking apart the wall of sound into its individual parts. There seems to be an interesting game nugget hinted at there.

This morning I did a web search of audio-only games and found a site dedicated to the subject, appropriately titled www.audiogames.net. I spent a little time playing with some of the games found here and there is definitely something very refreshing about the combination of simple game mechanics/controls and relying on your ears only. In many respects it reminds me of preparing for a mix while DJing. Your eyes are still seeing but you are not necessarily looking at anything, while yours ears and hands link to make the necessary adjustments and maneuvers.

Now to see if any of these types of games have made it to the iPhone/Touch, which due it’s control scheme, doesn’t seem like a very useful platform for non-sighted users. Not that games like this are for blind users only, but they are an obvious beneficiary of the playing mechanic.

Speaking of blind video game players, check out this kid:

Categories: Chill Room, Cool Hunting, Games, Videos

I’ve blogged about Osmos before, and I’m happy to see that it has finally been released, though us Mac users will have to wait a wee bit longer.

From the Microscopics blog:

Osmos Released: Free Copies to Give Away

Osmos, the ambient game with the ambient soundtrack, has been released and we have three free copies to give away. Just add a comment to this post below, and we’ll use our atmospheric-noise derived, random number generator to draw three winners on Monday 24th Aug. Easy.

Note that actual gameplay is smoother than the video.

The full game has 47 levels and features music from Gas, High Skies, Biosphere, Julien Neto, Loscil and others, and is DRM free.

$10 from Hemisphere Games direct
$10 from Steam
$10 from Direct2Disc, plus gift Osmos to a friend for $1

A demo is also available if you’d like to try first.

WinXP/ Vista/ Bootcamp currently, with Mac and Linux versions to follow.
Mac and Linux versions will be free updates if bought direct from Hemisphere

“beyond doubt, a work of genius… a relaxing, meditative experience, about going with the flow… very ethereal feel to the design… It all adds up to something otherworldly and just… incredible.” read more at GameAndPlayer.net

“wonderful gameplay… beautifully polished and tantalisingly atmospheric… Osmos mixes puzzle, action and strategy remarkably and all the while does it with great finesse and style.” read more at Indiegames.com

Categories: Cool Hunting, Games, Visual Art

Check this album demo out. It’s from chiptune band Anamanaguchi. The chiptune genre is not my favorite, but the geekery and nostalgia involved certainly gives it a leg up on many other genres. This flash-based album demo is ridiculously awesome, though. What a great idea! I’m sure this is being posted all over the net right now and for good reason. Hopefully this is a trend that catches on.

Due to the potential annoyance factor of the visuals, I’ve put the demo behind the “read more” link. Check it out and be amazed!
(I really wish there was a way to stop it, though. Refreshing the page works.)

Read more »

Categories: Chill Room, Cool Hunting, Games, Videos

I love the blossoming genre of “ambient” games. To quote this page, “Growing out of ideas in ambient music, ambient gaming is defined as “ignorable as it is interesting” after Brian Eno’s description of ambient music.”

Enter Blush from the fine game developers at Flashbang Studios / Blurst. While Blush doesn’t fully fit within my understanding of the ambient game genre, it certainly hits close enough to mark that I find it interesting. It is a fantastic Unity game the seems to be part Snake, part Osmos and a dash of something new, so it’s a bit more active and competitive than a true ambient game. You play as a translucent, neon jellyfish, trying to survive in a translucent, neon deep-sea scape. By whipping your tentacles around you collect the eggs of other sea creatures, and deposit them in specific locations to power-up your jelly vessel to take on larger sea creatures. The controls are dead simple, the game physics are smooth, and the visual style and effects are serious eye-candy.

From Blurst’s blog:

Blush is a free game about the underwater exploits of a physics based squid (or Crystalline Attack Sperm, depending on who you talk to.) As you collect eggs and return them to the various glowing catchers, your tentacles grow longer and your speed increases. By the end of the game, you’re brawling against some rather sizable critters. We’ll let you discover just how large and how many for yourselves!

The best part about all this is that it’s free! Give it a play over at http://blurst.com/blush/. There’s lots of great making-of posts on the Blurst blog, so check that out as well, if you are into such things.

Like the soundtrack? dB Soundworks has made all three tracks used in the game available for download here.

Categories: Chill Room, Cool Hunting, Games, Videos

Enter the ambient world of Osmos: elegant, physics-based gameplay, dreamlike visuals, and a minimalist, electronic soundtrack.

Your objective is to grow by absorbing other motes. Propel yourself by ejecting matter behind you. But be wise: ejecting matter also shrinks you. Relax… good things come to those who wait.

Progress from serenly ambient levels into varied and more challenging worlds. Confront attractors, repulsors and intelligent motes with similar abilities and goals as you.

This game looks great, and with music by Gas/High Skies, Julien Neto and Loscil it is sure to sound great too. A bit more info, screen shots, and a playable “alpha” demo (Windows only) can be found at the Hemisphere Games site. I’m looking forward to seeing the development of this and similar “ambient” games, such as the super fun Auditorium.