by Dave Mainella
Yesterday welcomed the release of “Sun God”, a Pitchfork Soundplay music and gaming experience. According to Pitchfork, Soundplay is an “interactive program focused on the intersections of music, gaming, and technology.”
“Sun God” is the third such game released by Pitchfork in collaboration with Intel and Kill Screen, a video games art and culture magazine. It features the Cut Copy song by the same name.
Last month, Pitchfork Soundplay released games inspired by M83′s “Intro” and Matthew Dear’s “Street Song.”
“Sun God” is an fun union of music, branding, and online gaming – one that emphasizes the musical experience in a unique way. Everything about the game, from characters to scenes and settings, is driven by the featured song.
The game opens with an antique and retro appearance, with a confirmation that you are in fact experiencing something sponsored by both Pitchfork and Intel. After a quick introduction and instructional home page, you are launched into the game. You’re immediately greeted by the almost jungle-like rhythms of Cut Copy’s “Sun God.” The blue and pink lights pulsate with the beat as you consider your objective.
The goal is to hoist two characters into the air by holding and releasing two buttons (the game can either be played by two people or your own two hands). Trapping sparks within the glowstream earns points. An elastic band of sorts connects the two characters, which in combination with jumping provides the hoisting action. The motions take some getting used to, but as you gradually progress and (hopefully) improve, the song continues with lyrics like, “Please, please, please, please, please won’t you give your love to me.”
It’s a fun and addicting experience, and the perpetual motion of Cut Copy’s music adds a level of surreal anxiety to the dynamic of the game.
The 2012 Pitchfork Music Festival, held this weekend July 13-15 in Chicago, will feature a Soundplay arcade where fans can play games in the Soundplay series, including two not yet released. And later in the summer, Pitchfork and Kill Screen will host a two-day “game jam” in New York, where independent developers will collectively create a game inspired by a piece of music.