With the advent of sites like RocketHub and Kickstarter we’ve started to see more and more Indie game studios seek funding for their projects. A number of them have managed to reach their goals and even get their games onto platforms like Steam. One such studio called Geeta Games recently released their game Lilly Looking Through, a short point-and-click adventure game for PC and Mac. The game itself has a very calm and relaxed pacing similar to games like Myst, which shouldn’t be surprising since the lead game designer, Steve Hoogendyk, has previously worked on the Myst series. The game focuses on a girl named Lilly who must find and rescue her younger brother after he is kidnapped by mysterious forces. As a genre that relies on having a calm and contemplative atmosphere, it’s important to have a score that can enhance that experience. The composer asked to meet this challenge is Chris Beazer, who has done some previous work in both films and games.
Much like the game, the orchestral score is mysterious and melancholic. The first piece on the album “Allure” sets the mood perfectly for what you can expect from the game and the rest of the soundtrack. This opening piece features the celesta (the instrument with the resonant bell-like sound) and the flute, with harmonic accompaniment from the strings and choir. The celesta and choir in particular gives the game a sense of wonder and foreboding as Lilly sets off to explore new and strange places. Like most adventure games, there isn’t a whole lot of dramatic or fast paced action. As a result, the music remains calm and relaxing, providing the perfect background for players to sit back and think as they solve the game’s many puzzles. A majority of this is accomplished by focusing on instrumental solos, often a woodwind instrument or the celesta, which are harmonically supported by a handful of other instruments, often the strings and slow synth pads.
A few of the tracks like “Atlantis” and “Journey Through Karst” take a more minimalist ambient approach. Both tracks feature slow but tranquil progressions of harmonies that implement both electronic and orchestral elements. While they are simpler than the small ensemble pieces in the rest of the album, they maintain enough interest and momentum with their harmonic structures that they never outstay their welcome. “Journey Through Karst” in particular possesses a very ethereal ambience, but never goes too far with its dissonance as to be spooky or intimidating. Much like the other tracks, they accomplish the goal of creating a mysterious atmosphere, while being relaxing enough for players to take their time on the game’s puzzle elements.
One of my particular favorites from the Lilly Looking Through OST is the track “Deserted”. The piece opens with a few environmental sound effects that continue as the harp enters with an accompanying bassoon. About a third of the way through the track, the bassoon takes over with its own melody, allowing the harp to take the role of accompanist. It’s a sparse arrangement, but an effective one. More than the other tracks, it captures the emptiness and solitude of some of the game’s more desolate environments. Lilly is often the only character on screen, save for the occasional woodland creature, so it’s fitting that some of the most effective tracks are often the ones that have only a few instruments present at a time. The sound effects in the track are also an interesting touch. They help emulate the pastoral setting and it translates well even outside the context of the game.
When all is said and done, the Lilly Looking Through OST is a relaxing and enjoyable album. It provides the mysterious and tranquil atmosphere that the point-and-click adventure game needs and it’s is a pleasure to listen to on its own. The melodies and instrumental solos are memorable and the orchestral arrangements are excellent. In addition to the tracks for the game, the album includes a few pieces that were unused in the final product. Definitely give this soundtrack a listen if you’re a fan of orchestral soundtracks or if you’re looking for a good album of tranquil music. The Lilly Looking Through OST can be purchased on iTunes and on Amazon.Tags: Chris Beazer, Geeta Games, Lilly Looking Through, Reviews