Atlantic Cities

A Video Game That Side-Scrolls the City Skyline

A Video Game That Side-Scrolls the City Skyline
Playstation/YouTube

The outline of the city becomes the playing field in a new video game out this month for Playstation. Sound Shapes is a deceptively simple-looking game that revolves around moving a character across the screen by jumping off and climbing up various objects, all the while dodging fire pits and missiles and other video game turn-enders. Its seeming simplicity lies in its side-scrolling play – think Super Mario Bros. But the complexity of game advancement is really far more advanced. The game integrates music, with new sounds and elements of level-specific songs joining the soundtrack as the player progresses. A set of levels with music by Beck use cities as their arena.

In its review, the video game website Kotaku explains the game's premise and details how the music and the movement of the character are inter-linked.

At its most basic, Sound Shapes has you playing your way through platformer architecture that throbs with the sounds of music. Almost everything you can interact with harbors a unique sound and those tones sync up with the grooves and beats of the level. Each set of levels is presented as an album and they're all open at the start so you can play whichever you want to first.

The album by Beck is in fact titled Cities, and city skylines and landscapes are the paths players must travel along to beat the levels. The character in the game climbs up the sides of skyscrapers, bounces off lyrics from the song and leaps over the burning buildings and streets below. Not the most hopeful vision of cities, but an undeniably cool setting for a video game.

The video below, from Playstation, shows some glimpses of the city-based levels and talks with one of the designers behind the look.

And this video from YouTube user xpantherx shows what it's like to play the city level.

Players can also build their own levels and write their own corresponding music. Kotaku points us to this video from YouTube user , in which one player has built on that city theme, using the skyline of Los Angeles as the inspiration for a new level.

H/T Curbed LA

Image courtesy PlayStation/YouTube

Keywords: Music, Beck, Video Games, Skyline

Nate Berg is a freelance reporter and a former staff writer for The Atlantic Cities. He lives in Los Angeles. All posts »

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