Thursday, March 26, 2009

Midnight Snack: Music Catch 2

music catch 2 Are you an Audiosurf fan?  Then you might like Music Catch 2.

You can find it over at Reflexive, where it and the original Music Catch currently top the list of browser games.  Music Catch 2 is also tearing up the charts on Kongregate.  Basically, if you haven’t spent at least five minutes with this one, you’re definitely missing out on something.

In Music Catch 2, you, well…you catch music.  It really is that simple.  You collect various floating shapes by moving over them with your mouse, aiming for a high score.  In a manner similar to (and yet wholly different from) Audiosurf, the music generates these colored shapes, reflecting (most noticeably) changes in rhythm and dynamics.  Special yellow shapes increase your point multiplier as well as the size of your cursor, while red shapes cause collected yellows to burst out of you like so many Sonic rings. 

You unlock different game modes as you go along.  These change how the shapes appear, as well as their behavior onscreen.  Three songs, solo piano works by Isaac Shepard, come with the game, and they provide a perfect soundtrack that is, at times, both soothing and stirring.  There’s a reason this game comes from a site whose motto reads: “Click. Play. Relax.”  If you find Audiosurf’s gameplay a bit too intense but enjoy music games, give Music Catch 2 a whirl.

One of the last options you unlock is called “Mp3 from URL.”  It allows you to import an mp3 link into the game, which will then generate shapes for you to collect.  Unfortunately, links from YouTube don’t work, and there’s no option to use music from your computer unless you upload it to a site yourself.  I tried it with Jonathan Coulton’s “I’m Your Moon.”  It was fun, but I think the game is really suited to more introspective, instrumental work.  Shepard’s piano pieces highlight the game’s inherent grace and simplicity, something pop music might dilute.  Have fun experimenting with whatever URLs you can find.  I’m sticking to public domain Chopin recordings.