- It's a music game, but it's not a typical rhythm game. It's more like learning songs by ear on an actual instrument.
- Mimic melodies using piano-like note buttons, in two 'modes' (light and dark) of six notes each. These play distinct tones that are consistent between songs (eg key 1 always plays a Bb in light mode, an Ab in dark mode).
- The challenging difficulty makes success incredibly satisfying! The player's performance is graphed after each attempt, marking clear progress towards a goal. There's also an easier Casual mode.
- Immerse yourself in an imaginative world with deep lore, with lots of clever dialogue that fleshes out seven unique characters, each of whom represents a different outlook towards life, death, and the difficulties we face.
- Learn seven increasingly difficult songs, each with emotional themes related to the characters, story, and life in general.
- Feel moved by this heartfelt exploration of coping with mental illness, finding meaning in life, and empathising with others by listening.
STORYThe story follows Memody, a 'sindrel' who's just awoken into life. Sindrels naturally live for just six days before a fatal winter claims them, but the opportunity for prolonged life presents itself to her. Sindrels have symbiotic creatures in their heads - daemons - which provide guidance through life, but Memody's is 'defective', poisoning her thoughts with constant abuse. Would life eternal be desirable if it was shared with an inescapable inner critic? By sharing songs with other sindrels and understanding their perspectives on life's value, she might build connections with new friends - and new outlooks - whose light outweighs the dark.
STORY BEHIND THE STORYAll the game's content - concept, code, graphics, music, writing, etc - was made by a solo developer, while recovering from treatment for brain cancer... which he had on top of serious mental health issues (severe social anxiety and depression). Both the physical and mental brain issues revolved around memory in different ways: a big part of the social anxiety is being haunted by (often objectively trivial) memories of social embarrassment, and the major brain surgery to treat the tumour presented the risk of permanent memory loss. This game explores the dark and light sides of memory, both in an attempt to reduce or prevent that memory deterioration, and to make peace with inner demons.
If nothing else, hopefully it's inspiring. If someone can do this alone with both mental illness and brain cancer, then surely you can achieve your goals if you put your mind to them!
This is the first of several games that'll be set in a world called Alora Fane. If you appreciate deep, characterised - and funny! - dialogue in games, and novel world lore, there should be a lot in this for you!