With the kind of technology we have for artistic creation in these times, the possibilities are endless for musical expression. This ease of outreach to gamers through digital distribution has truly brought us some unique gems from the digital underground, and it’s my goal and mission to make sure we all get in on some of this sonic glory.
Listed are soundtracks from games that perhaps don’t get the budget or size of a dev team you might get from triple-A, but you can bet the music surpasses any kind of budget constraints.
Apotheon by Marios Aristopolous
The brutality found in the mythology of the ancient Greek gods is captured wonderfully throughout this soundtrack. Sinister choral chant arrangements abound, along with some hard-hitting percussion symbolizing the march of war. A little bit of subtle synth work to tie in some of the atmosphere is also present, giving an underlying beauty within all the tension.
Evoland 2 by Shiro Games
Without knowing the premise of the game revolving around time travel, one might be thrown off by the occasional use of older MIDI sounds. That is until you discover how it represents the way the gameplay changes in design according to varying time periods. You’ll hear more 16-bit era RPG music at one point, and then fully fleshed out natural orchestral elements that you would catch in more modern scores.
Broforce by Deon van Heerden
If Ronnie James Dio was around today to deliver us some ass kicking ‘80’s Saturday morning cartoon metal, the opening theme song is what we might get. The rest of the score lends itself well to this action adventure that combines orchestral elements with metal drums and guitars. This album is everything the name implies, so you have to give it to this team for knowing exactly how to get just the right music for lots and lots of things blowing up. Especially if this time, it’s personal.
Murder by kubrixXx
The electronic hip-hop sound sets the right tone for this dystopian futuristic setting. The atmosphere throughout this album continuously evolves, giving you plenty to experience inside each individual track. Robotic vocals, synth drums, bitcrushed pads and creatively crafted sound design make this soundtrack an unsettling journey worth losing yourself in. With or without the context of the game’s setting, this is a satisfying listen for anyone who wants to experience an otherworldly, experimental sonic landscape.
SOMA by Mikkio Tarmia
If you enjoy a more terrifying sound of sci fi, this one is for you. There are somber elements within here as well, giving way to very emotional dynamics, but you’re definitely going to get your fair share of uncomfortable electronic horror sound. From grating atmosphere to melodic piano, this one covers a broad spectrum and delivers beautifully.
Stay tuned for more from this spotlight on indie games, as this avenue in audio goodness isn’t quite the typically trodden trail that we may normally experience.