Music of the Spheres is a beautiful experience, but it fails to live up to some of its potential. That’s not to say you shouldn’t play it, I actually highly recommend it, but there are some caveats you should bear in mind going in.

Music of the Spheres is a Puzzle-Platformer where you progress by launching bouncing projectiles in one of eight directions to get them to collide with angels and move onto the next level. Each of the eight collision angles is linked to a Glockenspiel note, and the levels are designed in such a way that when you find the solution to the puzzle, the projectile’s collisions with walls causes a piece of music to play in tune with the solution.

The core gameplay isn’t ground breaking, the idea of bouncing a projectile to a goal has been done before, but the way it’s tied to the music and how the solution plays out a tune signalling your success really adds an enjoyable twist to the experience. The creativity of some of the later puzzles is also refreshing, as they make incredibly clever use of level design. It’s just a shame that a good deal of the game’s earlier puzzles don’t show this same level of well signposted complexity

Possibly the biggest problem I came across while playing MOTS is that several of the game’s levels don’t teach you the ideas required to complete them. Yes, the solution itself will be well thought out and impressive to watch play out, but that has to be weighed with the fact that some of the solutions are fairly obtuse. These levels took the most time, mainly because I had to stand in every location, throw projectiles in all directions and move onto the next area to do the same, which affected the flow of the game at times. One particular level involved throwing projectiles off-screen and getting them to hit an off-screen target to bounce back onto another part of the screen. Due to a bug, part of the process to solve the level didn’t occur correctly, causing the level to take much longer than it should have.

05

You’re able to throw up to two projectiles at a time. Some angels will flee, requiring you to trap them from both sides.

 

I make a concerted effort when going into a review to separate any pre-release press from my experience with the game. I do, however, need to tackle something that was built up to be a big part of the game in pre-release interviews, which is actually fairly invisible in the final product. Many interviews with Developer Hamish Todd focused on his interest in Girih Tiles and the Islamic Art influences in the games visuals and general mentality. This was a great concept in theory, having a game that had projectiles that were deliberately non-violent and art that draws from mathematics, but once I actually got my hands on the game I found these aspects were fairly invisible. Knowing about MOTS inspirations, I was able to appreciate the game’s influences, but that aspect could have benefited from being more upfront in its design.

Wrap Up

MOTS took me a little over an hour to complete, but that hour of gameplay was calm, relaxing and enjoyable in a way that many games fail to capture. Despite some level design issues, it succeeded in being a laid back game and a highly recommended experience for anyone who wants to take it easy and enjoy something beautiful – even if you don’t necessarily understand the maths and influences behind the art. It allowed me to spend an hour experimenting with sound, mathematical art and the magnificence of the two when combined, which makes it a recommendation in my book.

score of 7

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About The Author

Founding Member

Laura’s gaming journey began in the 90′s when she was given a SNES by her older brother with Mario paint. From that day video games were all she thought about day or night, be it playing them, designing them, discussing them or writing about them. Why does she want to write about indie games? Because indie devs are awesome and she wants to be their new best friend by telling them how terrible their games are. That’s how it works right? Twitter: @LauraKBuzz Email: Laurak@indiehaven.com

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