Auditorium HD Review

Published February 3, 2013 by |

Auditorium HD sits amongst Journey, Unfinished Swan and Flower as a game that undoubtedly revels in putting art at the same level as gameplay in its list of priorities.

It’s a title that started life as a internet-based flash game in 2008, but has slowly made its way onto numerous platforms, wowing audiences with a simple premise that’s both entrancing and engaging.

The puzzler requires beams of light to be bent by the provided tools to fill up equalisers, akin to those you’d see on a Hi-Fi. Once filled an extra audio track is added to the background music that, over time, transforms the playing song. The equalisers can only be filled up by the coloured lights that match them so players need to manipulate the light particles to pass through areas that dye them correctly.

There are no tutorials, but the game progresses steadily that challenge players to experiment and figure out the way forward. Fortunately it’s a simple premise to grasp, with multiple ways to complete most levels. Unlike a lot of puzzle games that tend to end in frustration at the first obstacle, Auditorium HD manages to maintain an element of calm throughout.

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On the surface it may seem like there’s not much to it but once you start playing it soon becomes apparent that there’s more under the surface than simply aiming for completion. There’s an unexpected zen-like immersion that takes over and pulls you in, making that moment when you solve the puzzle even more satisfying.

The soundtrack is a selection of euphoric instrumental music with a vast blend of stirring piano, compelling synth and sweeping strings that ensure every puzzle rewards players with an satisfying audio prize. Unlike the majority of games where music is strictly to supplement the experience, here it’s the primary aim and you’ll find yourself replaying levels just to hear favoured pieces.

One key feature that makes this version of the game stand-out is the use of motion controls. While the PlayStation Move can feel a little tacked on to some titles, here it transforms the whole experience. Players turn into a virtual conductor to manipulate the beams in a way that feels more natural and far superior to simply twiddling the thumb sticks of a controller.

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there’s a clear charm to be found in its simple, colourful styling

You certainly get plenty of value for the £6.49 price tag. A vast number of levels make for a game that could last a very long time. However, it’s not just the challenge that’ll keep players coming back for more but the captivating pleasure in hearing the music transform and seeing the light show erupt.

Auditorium HD is yet another example of why little downloadable titles have become so appealing. Something different that stands out, yet is intuitive enough that anyone could pick it up and start their journey. It might not match the visuals and complexity of some bigger budget titles, but there’s a clear charm to be found in its simple, colourful styling.

8/10
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