Auditorium in Review – This is what music looks like!

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My favourite writer of all time is Terry Pratchett, creator of the deeply witty Discworld series. One of his interesting ideas was that to dogs (and werewolves in his books), smells were actually perceived as differently coloured clouds. Well, EA heav taken that general idea and applied it to music.

The goal of Auditorium is simple: you have to direct flows of particles into their respective goal boxes. To do this, you have multiple tools provided at the start of each stage that affect the flow. But this simple task is only part of the experience. The gameplay feels a lot like being a conductor of an orchestra; once the particles hit a goal an instrument starts to play and will be joined by others in a beautiful melody when more than one goal is is hit. So don’t even TRY playing Auditorium without sound, or you’ll miss out on half of the game altogether.

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The tools provided to help you create the music are actually resizable areas that affect the flow of particles. You start with simple directional tools which direct the particles according to the arrow on the tool. I would note that the particles use a kind of a physical model that takes into account speed and inertia and the size of the area also indicates the strength with which it will affect them. On later levels the game introduces the spiral and speed tools that combined with the directional ones can be used to twist the flows into out-of-this-worldly shapes.

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To make Auditorium more challenging and beautiful, the goal boxes may be coloured and must then be hit by respectively coloured particles. On such levels there are always areas that change the colour of the particles. Sometimes objects are placed on the level that split the flow of the particles and must be used to hit all of the goals.

Once you fill all the boxes, the game removes all interface elements, leaving you to behold the beautiful shape your particles make and enjoy the music. The graphics in the game are simply stunning. The multicoloured particles curve and spiral for eerie and hypnotic sights; sometimes, it’s like looking at the Aurora Borealis. Combine it with the beautiful zen-like music and you get an experience never before seen on the iDevice, or any other platform for that matter.

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The downer is that the game ends all too quickly. It took me about 40 minutes to go through all of the 5 acts, included the base game, although it kept me glued to the iDevice during that time. Wondering why I said “base game”? Well, EA really went for in-App purchases with Auditorium. There are already 3 level packs available containing 3 more acts and new tools and obstacles and each priced at $0.99 per unit. EA are deferring to nickel-and-dime models in their fullest in their other recent releases such as Command & Conquer.

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Rephrasing the movie “Pretty Woman”, I can say that Auditorium is like opera: you will either love it or hate it right from the start. If you’ll hate it, you can later learn to appreciate it, but you’ll never experience the true feeling of complete joy and awe of the game. Auditorium truly is an out-of-this-world experience, combining the works of the world’s greatest composers with the majesty of the Aurora Borealis. It is out of this world.

With this I declare Auditorium officially touched.

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App Summary
Title:AuditoriumDeveloper:Electronic Arts
Reviewed Ver:1.0.0Min OS Req:3.0
Price:$2.99App Size:10.2 MB
  • Beautiful music
  • Out-of-this-world graphics
  • A unique and never-before-seen experience
  • Additional level packs already available
  • Short standard version

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