Planck v.1: A New Take on Music GamesBy Benjamin Opal
Excitement for a Rock Band keyboard aside, the music game genre is getting a little played out, so it’s nice to see a fresh idea coming from Shadegrown Games in Planck v.1. We’ve seen the Planck concept before, in the form of an early prototype, but now the game sports a 3D look with the whole lasers-burning-through-black-background aesthetic.
The idea behind Planck is have players carve through a scrolling shoot-em-up in a way that creates music. Every weapon you fire or enemy you destroy fires off a musical tone or loop, so if you just hang to the side and let the enemies pass you by, you’ll miss all those delicious tunes. Chaining together combinations of enemies rewards you with more instruments to “play,” and targeting specific enemies will bring similar foes with fitting musical accompaniment. I really like the musical shooter concept.
Going forward, the challenge for Shadegrown will be to create a mission structure that encourages the player to experiment with different sounds and revisit old tracks. Having a lot of songs with enough variation between them will help. Then again, the limited track selection in Rez didn’t stop me from revisiting that game for regular mind-melting sessions. No word on release date or platform yet. [Shadegrown Games via GameSetWatch]