Last week Brenton, an indie dev from Upstate NY, drove all the way here to Boston to talk to our monthly meet up for local indie devs. He was showing off Planck, an interesting new take on a music game being worked on by new start up Shadegrown Games.
The game is kind of like a mash up between a shoot ’em up and Frequency. You play as an invincible speedboat zipping along a tar black sea, shooting objects in your path with 1 to 4 weapons. Each of your weapons plays the notes of a different violin, and each of the enemies explodes in a little firework which plays notes as well. As you can imagine there is a lot of shooting going on, and you wind up making a fairly coherent, looping, and simple yet gratifying song in the process. Different weapons/instruments behave in different ways, but none of it really matters much as you are invincible so you don’t have much pressure to shoot/explode targets beyond what music you’re trying to make. You also have the ability to “crossfade”, which shifts the tint of the playing field and the style of the music you’re making while keeping the same beat and theme. The whole thing has a nice neon and water aesthetic, and kind of reminds me of Auditorium.
The game is interesting, and fun to play even if it is a bit rough around the edges. The song gets a bit repetitive after a while (only one track is available in the demo), and the gameplay seems aimless at times. That said the game is a neat psychedelic experience, and certainly worth a play. It also looks fairly polished for such an early stage of development. We’re excited to see where these guys go with the game – we’re looking forward to new mechanics, new levels and abilities, and more compelling gameplay choices. And I bet the Shadegrown guys can deliver!
Go download the game and give it a shot, especially if you like music games!