capsule review


At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder Synaesthete

Possibly the most exhilarating music game to materialize since Guitar Hero, IGF 2008 finalist Synaesthete combines the rhythmically complex beat-matching mechanics of the latter with the simplicity of an isometric action game and wraps it all in a pulsing, grooving, funked up universe of light and sound. Take on denizens like the Voxel King, who rules "a machine world made of funk and rhythm," or the Viper Vizier, "master of an endless plane of trance," all by tapping out simple or complex rhythms on the keyboard with your right hand while guiding your Synaesthete out of harm's way with your left.

To create those rhythms, you have to match falling "notes" that rain down the middle of the screen and correspond to the J, F, and K keys. When you're strike on the beat, your Synaesthete automatically fires laser-like beams at encroaching enemies. When you're off, enemies pounce and whittle away your health. Clear a room and you can move to the next one by way of adjoining staircases; clear an entire level and you advance to increasingly psychedelic venues. Eventually you'll fight boogieing polygonal bosses in blistering rhythm-jams that on the highest difficulty settings should set all but the nimblest fingers fumbling.

Note: This download takes you to the developer's site

--Matt Peckham

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At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder Synaesthete

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