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Music of the Spheres
 
 
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Description
Release date: Available on Desura
Purchase Music of the Spheres for $5 now: www.desura.com/games/music-of-the-spheres

Music of the Spheres is a puzzle-shooter about bouncing bullets, Islamic art, and sound. In it you can fire bullets which bounce, and when they bounce, a specific glockenspiel note is played.

That simple premise gives rise to a lot of strategies, and the levels are designed to bring those strategies out. The way they do that is more “puzzle” than “shooter” - the game does not require many reflexes or risks. It just requires thoughtfulness and precision. It is intended express things concisely, and wordlessly - you do not have to be able to speak any language in order to play this game.

So for example, say you find yourself in a corridor with a low ceiling, and you fire a bullet directly up. It’ll now bounce up and down continuously as long as you want it to... meaning that anything that tries to pass through that corridor will be hit by your bullet. Effectively, with the ceiling, floor, and your own tool, you have created a barrier that nothing can penetrate (and because of the glockenspiel notes, the barrier has a distinctive sound).

What's the story?
You're an old man. So old that you died and have been taken to heaven. The angels who brought you know you want an interesting task to perform. They give you a sling with two bouncing projectiles, and challenge you to hit them.

You're taken from place to place; every puzzle develops an idea for you. Music of the Spheres is my vision of heaven - interesting challenges, a calm yet serious atmosphere, and environments influenced by my favorite art form: Islamic geometric art.

… Islamic art?
The game's backgrounds are made with “girih tiles”, fascinating patterns that were discovered by medieval Islamic mathematicians 700 years ago. Intertwined with their beauty, these tiles have powerful mathematics to them. In that respect, I find them to be a lot like good video games (think of Portal’s powerful maths).

Can I play Music of the Spheres now?
MotS will be available on Desura on the 20th of April

Who’s this game made by?
I’m Hamish (“hey-mish”) Todd, and you may well have seen my design analyses around. I've written about Castlevania's Medusa Heads for Kotaku, Half-Life's Barnacles for Destructoid, and Tomb Raider's platforming for Gamasutra.

I’ve been making Music of the Spheres for three years, while doing a degree and learning to program. It also has animations by Thomas Frose and Jca Micthel, and music by Stephane D'Ascoli.

What are people saying about Music of the Spheres?
Half-toy, half-puzzle, and wholly delightful, MotS is a joy to tinker with. You’ll be left scratching your head sometimes, but always wanting more.
~Rich Stanton, eurogamer

There’s a beauty in the apparent simplicity of the design, which like much that is contemplative is far more complex than it first appears. It’s somehow reassuring to play a puzzle game that is entirely disinclined to frustrate, hoping to create mindful, soothing spaces instead.
~Adam Smith, Rockpapershotgun

Really enjoying it
~Jonathan Blow, designer, Braid

Website and contact details
You can reach me at hamishtodd1 {at}gmail {dot}com, and you can find out more about the game at http://www.musicofthespheresgame.com.
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98 Comments
Tapewormz Apr 18, 2013 @ 3:44pm 
What the what? This is crap. There's nothing even remotely charming about these graphics. This isn't good retro. "levels are composed...beautifully..." That's subjective and in the eye of the beholder for sure. I think this game looks terrible.
Campa Apr 18, 2013 @ 10:50am 
I see no art in this game, just some very crappy graphics, third game so far.....
Rimbo Apr 18, 2013 @ 1:14am 
@BlackmarketKraig, Music of the Spheres is an ancient phrase and idea. No one could copyright it I think.

Promising-looking game, something really different.
Darknuke Apr 17, 2013 @ 8:45pm 
Not my cup of tea, but it seems like a very soothing and peaceful game. I felt relaxed just listening to the trailers. Totally understand why a guy like Jonathan Blow would like your game. Good luck to you :).
Null Apr 17, 2013 @ 8:07pm 
Would I play this? Nah... I've never been one for puzzles.

Does this look like an entertaining game that people who are into puzzle games would enjoy immensly? Yes.
VirgateSpy Apr 17, 2013 @ 6:28pm 
The backgrounds are kinda bland...
Alienowl Apr 17, 2013 @ 6:25pm 
From reading the description, it seems like the developer has been and is putting a lot of work and passion into this game.

If I answer the question--"Would you buy this game if it were available in Steam?"--my answer would be "no thanks." It's not my kind of game. Does it deserve to be on Steam? I think yes.

I wonder what the price might be.
BlackmarketKraig Apr 17, 2013 @ 3:48pm 
Wasn't "Music of the Spheres" the title of an episode of the 1995-2002 version of the Outer Limits, with teenagers grooving out to an intergalactic soundscape deal? Pretty sure it was. Depending on the litigious nature of the owner of that copyright, you might want to make sure you can use the name before you publish. Food for thought.
Motoki Apr 17, 2013 @ 3:23pm 
I really like the concept. I'm very much in favor of unique and interesting games. Having said that, and I hate to be that guy, I'm wondering if maybe the visuals can be spruced up a bit?
madewokherd Apr 17, 2013 @ 2:46pm 
I fear this game is too hard for me, both in terms of understanding the movement of those bullets (I simply am not able to predict them), and the precise timing that appears to be required for some puzzles. :(