Not too long ago, I touched upon the music of charming indie game Burly Men at Sea; a game about brothers stretching their legs on a journey of discovery of both the world and themselves. In my opinion, you can never have too many games that have that general kind of theme of subtle adventure and exploration.
Enter Soul Searching, a similar game by the Turkish duo of Tarık and Talha Kaya that focuses on survival, story and deeper connections between the narrative and gameplay.
Inspired by Ursula Le Guin’s Earthsea series and movies like Life of Pi, Soul Searching is about growing up, leaving your homeland, standing on your own feet. It deals with themes like isolation, searching for meaning and direction, leading to depression and suicidal thoughts.
Talha Kaya acts as the composer of the game’s music, which is a combination of several different genres. Much like Burly Men at Sea, the music of Soul Searching is a mix of acoustic guitar and progressive rock with dashes of psychedelic tones to keep the tone interesting and captivating.
The 25-track soundtrack conveys a lot of emotions that go hand-in-hand with the game’s story and what the theme is trying to impress upon the player, from those of adventure and exploring new and strange territories, to themes of isolation and the loneliness of sailing away from your homeland in search of something you’re not quite sure of. The complex emotions that can be brought to the surface with this combination of music and visual gameplay appears to be the main goal of Soul Searching, and does so in a subtle way that doesn’t browbeat the player and can be invoked without even playing the game; a key component of a good soundtrack.
The Soul Searching OST is currently available for purchase on Bandcamp and streaming on Spotify. The game is current available on Steam for purchase.