Yes, you are reading the title of this review correctly. This is a review of an entire game, rather than just the soundtrack. It seems like an unusual move for Original Sound Version, but this game proves to be an interesting exception. FRACT OSC is a game that is focused on the creation of music as its primary gameplay mechanic. It goes far beyond the usual use of interactive music in a game setting. While we could do a simple review of the soundtrack itself, it’s almost impossible to discuss the music without going into detail how the music is generated in the game. That said, it seems more appropriate to actually discuss the game, as well as the music. So consider this a review an analysis of both the game and the soundtrack.
As mentioned in our PAX East preview, FRACT OSC is a first-person exploration game that revolves around the creation of music. The game was created by Richard E Flanagan, Quynh Nguyen, and Henk Boom of Phosfiend Systems. The gameplay is similar to exploration games like Myst or Riven. It’s all about the puzzles and exploration, with your progress only limited by your ability to solve problems. Originally the game was set to have multiple worlds with each world focusing on different music elements. One world, for example, would be centered around drums and rhythm. Eventually realizing that this approach might be a little too ambitious, the creators scaled it down to one world focusing on synthesizers and oscillation. Hence the subtitle OSC, short for oscillator, in the game’s name. An oscillator, in this case, is referring to the electric circuit that is used to generate electronic sound waves. So does the final product live up to its original premise? Read on to find out. (more…)