Toronto’s burgeoning independent gaming scene has dished out a number of unique releases over the past few years, but Queasy Games’ latest musical platformer for the PlayStation Network sets a new standard.
When Queasy Games’ Jonathan Mak first decided to team up with artist and co-developer Shaw-Han Liem in 2008, little did they know their collaboration would gradually evolve into a full-fledged video game for the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita. Back then, Mak had just developed his successful Everyday Shooter project, while Liem was busy producing and performing electronic music under the name I Am Robot and Proud. The duo began working on an audio visualizer for use at live concerts and, with music as their common interest (and with the help of a government grant), they eventually developed the next big experience in Toronto indie gaming.
Sound Shapes is the result of their four-year collaboration. Mak and Liem’s initial idea of creating a game that worked with user-generated musical content mutated into a bigger project, encompassing work from various Toronto and international-based visual artists, developers, and musicians. At its core, Sound Shapes is a new take on the classic 2-D platformer: The player navigates through levels while collecting musical beats; as more beats are collected, the dynamics of the level gradually change and add new dimensions to the background music. Sound Shapes also gives players a reason to finally pick up their PlayStation Vita, a device that has been sorely lacking in innovative titles; the game utilizes the Vita’s features to its maximum potential with stunning but minimalist visuals, a seamless weaving of gameplay and music composition, and a suite of creation tools.