"Melody's Escape" is a rhythm/music game with a bit of a platforming twist and is out for the PC. In this game you play as a woman named Melody and she loves two things: Running and listening to music. Picking songs from your very own music library will generate levels for Melody to run on. Not only will you run but you'll also slide, glide, jump off of really tall ledges, jump up really high walls, and she can even fly. Yep, there isn't much in terms of story or gameplay as it is all pretty simple. But as they say, "keep it simple silly" as simplicity can work the best in some cases. Now will simplicity work well with this game? Or will it be so simple that it becomes the most boring experience of your life? All these questions and more will all be answered after the jump. (Click "Read More" to read the full review).
The level generation in this game is incredible as it picks up on every sound and even the very little ones and generates some very precise notes no matter how fast/slow or loud/quiet the music is. The kind of terrain you will see in the level generation includes: Rails that you can slide over and under, tunnels that you need to squeeze through, pit-falls that you jump over, and mountains that you can jump up or down from. Some of these obstacles can look as friendly as a baby puppy but some of them will be generated in a way that's very insane and I kid you not there was one level I played (forgotten the song though but I think it was a Judas Priest song) that had me falling down a mountain for over a minute.
It's pretty darn funny missing some obstacles in this game as I couldn't tell you how many times I slipped up and ran face first into a rail and then fell down a huge pit. While the level generation is impressive I wouldn't say that it is perfect as not every song will generate a great level but that was only with a very small amount of songs that I have played on this game. If you are sick of going through the long list of songs after every time you have finished a level you shouldn't fear, there's an option to play a bunch of songs in a playlist and I really enjoyed using this for when I was playing full albums.
There are two kinds of notes to hit in this game: "arrow notes" are notes that can be hit by the directional buttons and there is also "colored notes" which can be hit by using the WASD keys. If you are using a USB controller you'll find the controls to be just as simple, the direction pad hits the "arrow notes" while the face buttons hit the "colored notes". It doesn't matter what control scheme you use as both of them were pretty smooth, responsive, and easy to learn. This game is also very, very, very addictive and you'll find yourself playing this game for hours.
The difficulty is pretty balanced as you get several types of difficulty settings ranging from very easy to frustratingly difficult. There's even an option to mix and match elements from every difficulty and even set a custom speed but I found this mode to be more of an novelty and I don't intend on using it much. Personally I like to play this game on "Intense" difficulty as it's very easy to learn but also hard to master but never frustrating and all satisfying once you get the hang of it. If you want to just look at the levels just to see how they look there's an "Autoplay" option.
Graphics in this game are very basic but look really crisp and clean. The design of the main character (Melody) while simple has a lot of charm and character and this is enhanced even more when you see Melody run around the level as her animations are even more fun and charming. This might sound silly as she's a character made out of a simple shade and an outfit made from a simple color but you'll understand once you play it. Sound quality in this game depends on the song file you use so it can vary. One complaint about the sound is that there's no sound that plays during the menus nor is there a sound that plays during the silent part before the song while Melody is taking her first steps and it just feels very empty and awkward.
This game is also an "Early Access" title which means that this game is still a work in progress just like an open beta. Do not let that scare you off as this game is built very solid to where it does feel like a finished game. The only thing I see that is still a work in progress in this game is the character customization feature. In this feature you can change Melody's color and clothes to your liking. At this stage you only get three costumes and out of the three I enjoy the standard costume (White outfit, black skin) the most. You can also change her hair around and you do get more options but I also like the standard hair the most. Another thing I noticed in the character customization section is that there's an option to "Browse Steam Workshop". If you don't know what "Steam Workshop" is well it's a section where players can upload their mods for the game. I am really glad that this feature is coming but I do wish that they add in more colors into the character customization as well.
Overall this is a pretty great music/rhythm game and is one of the best music games that I have ever played to this date (defiantly worthy of being in a top 20 spot). I'm looking forward to seeing what they add into this game in the future and hopefully it doesn't change enough to make this review redundant. Really fun game.
Game: Melody's Escape
Developer/Publisher: Icetesy SPRL
Genre: Music, Platformer
Price: $9.99 (Steam)