One of the most amazing accomplishments in conceptualizing a product is when your audience understands what to do from the get-go without reading a single instruction. This is one of the key reasons Apple has succeeded with their ‘out-of-the-box’ products. It is also why Auditorium is so exceptional. Upon opening it for the first time, you are immediately put into the first level with nothing more than a level design and a tile with which to manipulate it. Not only is Auditorium a surreal experience, but it will also test you to think outside the box to discover how both music and the elements of movement work together.
The idea behind Auditorium is that you must move a stream of light through music boxes to create a symphony. Each song is made up of multiple levels that come together in the end to create a masterpiece of orchestral sounds. In order to manipulate the stream of light, you must use both built-in elements and the provided movement tiles. For example, if the music box and light are different colors, you must first direct the light through a color-changing circle and then hit the music box. There are also splitters that send the beam of light in two directions.
Make Beethoven proud.
Since Auditorium is a game without forced instructions, half of the fun is discovering what each element does and how they react when put together. A big part of it is trial and error, and since there is never a time limit you are always encouraged to try new methods. Nearly everything interacts with everything else in a different fashion. Instead of listing these, we will let you discover them for yourself. If you are having trouble deciphering exactly what a certain object does, there is a help screen to tip you in the right direction.
Apart from the first few levels, Auditorium is extremely challenging but ultimately rewarding. Upon the completion of a level, everything except the stream of light disappears and you can view the intertwining array of colors you created while listening to the tune. The final level of each song puts all of the parts together and allows you to manipulate the music by soloing different parts.
So sound is made of particles now?
As far the controls go, all that is asked of you is to drag tiles around and expand or shrink a ring around them in order to change the scope of their effect. One issue we found was that there is no way to hide tiles that we were not using. This meant they could easily get in the way. We hope the developers address this in an update.
Something that is important to note about Auditorium is that you are only getting 1/4 of the game for the $2.99 asking price; the three additional level packs are available as in-app purchases for $0.99 apiece. Each pack includes a new musical theme, multiple additional gameplay elements, and a different array of colors. However, while you may end up paying $5.99 for this game, that is half of what the identical PC game costs. Besides, it is a bargain for such a masterpiece.
Auditorium is a game that needs to be experienced to be understood in its entirety. If you are unsure if this game is for you, there is a free demo online or a lite version to try. There just isn’t another game quite like it.