Who doesn’t appreciate a good viking story? How about one that’s a little less on the fantastic side and a bit more realistic? Well, that’s what you get with Burly Men at Sea.
Burly Men at Sea, developed by husband-and-wife team Brain&Brain, is described as “A folktale about a trio of large, bearded fishermen who step away from the ordinary to seek adventure.”
The indie adventure game isn’t your typical viking romp, however. It’s a tale you craft from the story choices presented to you, or rather the Beard Brothers, based on something as simple as a chart stuffed in a bottle you happen across that starts the whole thing in motion. The game surrounds itself with stylist art and a subtle soundtrack that appeals to the wayfarer in all of us.
The music, done by Chicago studio Plied Sound, is simplistic yet appropriate for the equally simple and charming construction of the game. Plied, whose work includes commercials and sound design for companies like Apple and Google, make their first foray into game music composition and uses their previous experience with stylistic sound design to bring the story of the Bearded Bros to life.
“Adventurous Deeds” – Burly Men at Sea (Plied Sound)
Brian&Brian along with Plied Sound went the way of making it so all of the sound effects in the game is comprised of vocalizations. While sound effects are emphasized over the background music, the soundtrack is no less captivating in its creativity. Acoustic guitar and individual flute work highlight a good amount of the music featured in the game, with other more native-sounding instrumentation being featured to bring about a sense of an adventure on the not-so-high seas. While a good portion of the music features a unique classical take on northern European music, some of the more creative sounds featured in the game’s music invoked the slightest bit of a Scandinavian twist on some of the sound from Katamari Damacy with a bit of a Disney cartoon flavor thrown in for good measure. This is a compliment to Plied Sound, as in a world of indie music, it’s never a bad thing to be a bit different.
“Maelstrom!” – Burly Men at Sea (Plied Sound)
The vocalizations woven within the game’s sound to help emphasize the music truly help to bring a folklorish-tint to the overall sound of the soundtrack as a whole. It captivates the player as they venture through the storybook settings and basic gameplay without getting too heavy or clashing with the feel of the game.
Burly Men at Sea is currently available on Steam and the Humble Store, as well as for mobile platforms, with the Maestro Beard Edition netting you the game’s soundtrack alongside the game. You can also pick up the soundtrack separate on Bandcamp.
I’ve been playing a lot of Dragon Quest Builders lately and while the music is delightful — especially for fans of the series with loads of rearranged themes from previous titles — it’s kind of killing me. Most sandbox crafting/survival games follow in the Minecraft mold with minimal and atmospheric soundscapes, if they incorporate music at all. Spending hours meticulously placing blocks and scavenging for resources doesn’t require a galant fanfare or sugary melodies with short loops. Without the distraction of life-threatening combat these tunes have quickly invaded my consciousness and I find them banging around in my head for hours after I’ve stopped playing.
I know what you’re going to say, “Shawn, just turn the volume down”, and in any other game that would totally work. But, you see, for unfathomable reasons you can only turn the music in Dragon Quest Builders down, never off. It’s kind of become a sticking point for some of us on the game’s subreddit and the only consolation I can think of is to ask for similar stories from our dear readers here at OSV.
Are there any soundtracks that started out great but quickly got on your nerves? A town tune or shop music that sent you running for the overworld map? Maybe a main menu theme that you left idling for too long? Share your pain in the comments below.
We have a special team-up between OSV and VGMO for the return of the podcast! (One that will likely continue moving forward.) To celebrate the Halloween season, I talk with their Oliver Jia and go into a complete nerd-out about all things Castlevania!
Special thanks to the VGMO crew for allowing me in on the podcast, and for their editing and mastering. You can check out the podcast notes here – VGMO Podcast Episode 6: Castlevania
You can also download the episode on their iTunes to listen on the go!
Happy Halloween (to those who subscribe to the holiday)! We’ve shared some of our personal favorites over the past weeks and years and now we want to hear some of your own. Truly terrifying or playfully macabre. Squirming out of ancient PC sound hardware or freshly
released deceased. Or anywhere in between.
Share some of your favorite spooky game music in the comments below and if you need a little inspiration here are a few of our recent and popular Halloween themed features:
The Beep Movie was officially released on September 30, 2016. I’ve watched the film, which is just short of two hours and a wonderful examination of the history of sound in video games. This includes a look at how music and sound design evolved from the penny arcade era to the modern era of gaming today.
Although I been writing for Original Sound Version for close to two years I still consider myself a bit of a N00b when it comes to game audio. Most of my game audio experiences have come from playing games, and listening to soundtracks. Until now, I did not have a decent understanding of the behind the scenes of the game audio world and Beep pulls back the curtain for its viewers. Read on to hear my full review of the film and the Blu-ray release.
Last month, Original Sound Version partnered up with the Dwelling of Duels game music competition and Impact Soundworks at MAGFest Labs to debut “Opposing Bloodlines“; a video game music competition specifically for established game music cover bands, be they instrumental, chiptune, acapella or otherwise. The competition was a success with one of the prizes for the winner being a feature on OSV!
The grand winner of the competition was a one-man band out of southern Maryland known as WASD. Who and what is WASD?
Earlier this week, we had the opportunity to catch up with everyone’s favorite Irish musical duo. Okay, maybe not everyone’s favorite … there are probably loads of Irish musical duos out there. But if we narrow it down to Irish VGM duos, it might be safer to say that Chris Geehan and Dan Byrne-McCullough of HyperDuck SoundWorks top the category.
In the past few years, their work on Dust: An Elysian Tail and Penny Arcade’s On The Rain-Slick Precipice Of Darkness 4 have defined their sound and given them a strong fanbase. In the following interview, we get set for what’s to come, as well as how you can win a free digital version of the upcoming Cosmic Star Heroine OST when it arrives (digitally, via Bandcamp) on December 7th of this year. (more…)
If there’s a genre of music I don’t hear often enough in games, it’s the blues. A few titles come to mind that have borrowed the style for a single level or licensed a blues song for a cutscene but very few go all the way with their soundtracks. Even fewer big budget titles these days would dare reach beyond the safety of orchestral bombast that has become the norm. That’s what makes Mafia III (Expanded Game Score) extra special. It comes from a mainstream AAA title in a series whose orchestral soundtracks were already well regarded, bucking the trend of what even fans may be expecting. It’s also an exceptionally listenable album with highs and lows to accompany the drama and action but with a graceful, consistent feel overall.
Pixeljams Volume 2 comes to us just under four years after the original album and features many of the same artists from Pixeljam and their circle of friends. While Volume 1 was simply a collection of “new and used tracks”, Volume 2 has a more focused goal in mind. As Pixeljam co-founder and musician Miles Tillmann puts it, “we’re looking to express how games have influenced our sound aesthetic… music inspired by the technology behind game development, you could say.”
That translates into an album of bouncy electronic tunes and wafting soundscapes that echo retro consoles and PCs without simply sounding like typical chiptune. With a roster of seven artists (providing solo songs and collaborations) the 10-track album is diverse but maintains a few consistent sounds that work well throughout. Click inside to find out more about this array of new pixeljams.
Austin Wintory has done it again. That’s it, review over. That’s all you need to hear right? Well at this point when it comes to video games scores you know that Austin Wintory is going to provide an exceptional score. Abzu is 505 games next game following the critically acclaimed Journey, which Austin Wintory also scored.
I took time to listen to the soundtrack to Abzu and was swept away by it’s beautiful melody and reoccurring theme. So come read about my thoughts on the album and why thoughts of ballet sprung to my mind with this soundtrack.
Last week we reported on the release of the soundtrack to Obduction a new game from Cyan Worlds, the creators of the original classic games Myst and Riven. Robyn Miller composed the music for Obduction and he graciously took the time to talk to Original Sound Version about composing the score.
In our interview Robyn Miller provides insight on how he became a part of the project, his approach to scoring the game, and his favorite tracks on the album. He also answers a question I’ve had for years about the Cyan introduction music. Read on for our extensive interview and listen to tracks from the score that formed part of our discussion.
With Nintendo announcing its planned November 11, 2016, release of the Classic NES with 30 games last week I was hit with a flurry of video game audio flashbacks. Learning that the new mini Nintendo could not have any additional games added to it, I thought about some of the games I still had in my NES collection that I wish were included.
So in this edition of Game Soundtracks For Your Soul I’m looking back at a few NES games that had some incredible soundtracks. Come on in to relive some of my personal favorite NES game scores which include music to robots, soldiers, and space animals.