Soothing music puzzle games have really taken off this generation, and Auditorium HD is no different.  Originally a PC and iPhone game, Auditorium was discovered on indie game community site as part of a development competition.  It was loved so much, in fact, that Zoo Games struck a deal with the developer Cipher Prime to bring the game to the consoles.

Auditorium HD is one of those games whose screenshots just don’t do it justice and most definitely needs to be experienced to be fully enjoyed.  The game presents you with puzzles that can be solved in a number of creative ways.  You control tools that can change the movement of a stream of light and sound particles.  You use these tools to guide and alter how the particles move around the play area and eventually fill Audio Containers that produce a more enhanced soundtrack as you play the game.  Your goal is to fill all of the containers in the level, creating a visually and harmonically pleasing scene.

The gameplay is short and simple for each level, allowing anyone to play a level or two and come back to it after something like a long, intense FPS game.  Of course, if you’re anything like me, you’ll get hooked on the game and play for hours at a time.  With a standard controller, you move and manipulate the tools in the game with the left analog stick and the shoulder buttons, but for a more hands-on experience, this game fully supports the Move controller.  This game is another one that has obviously had the controls redesigned for use with the new motion controls on the PS3.  With the Move controller, you guide the pointer on the screen and move the tools by holding the Move button and alter the tools by holding the trigger while moving the controller.  If this sounds way too simple, that’s because it is supposed to be.  Of course, if you place the tools in a certain spot and just barely miss where you want the particles to go, you can move around the tool and cause the Audio Containers to fill up and play its tune and present some amazing visuals.

On that note, the sounds and visuals can be enjoyed not only by the player, but by anyone that is watching the game being played.  Each level starts out fairly quiet, but as you manipulate the flow and start to fill the containers, the light particles turn into sound.  The more containers you fill, the more harmonies play and the greater the audio experience becomes, as well as progressing the gamer through the level.  The visuals are appealing as well, as the flow may start out as a single color, but as you progress, the particles will get passed through different sections and different colors will form and soon the mixture of different color and light will amaze most people looking at the screen.  For this, it’s again hard to successfully describe just how good the game looks, and I’m only really disappointed at the fact that I didn’t get a chance to see how the game would have looked in 3D.

Unfortunately, there is no multiplayer and while you can replay each level over as many times as you want once it is completed, I really had no reason to do just that.  Don’t let this deter you though, as you’ll get the 70+ levels of the original game as well as just under 80 levels designed exclusively for this release.  Actually, the game really does a good job at creating a relaxing environment and allowed me to wind down after pretty much anything even remotely stressful.

While the game does provide for a great experience, I can’t say there is a lot of fun to be had if you’re looking for exciting gameplay, as this game does not provide that in a traditional sense.  Again, this game may be just what is needed after playing a different game that gets you all wound up.  For what the game does, it does it really well.  For everything else, including the additional tools in the later levels, it does seem to fall a little short.

Title : Auditorium HD
Format : PSN
Developer : Cipher Prime
Publisher : Zoo Games
Release Date : 11/23/10

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*Zoo Games provided with a promo code for a review copy.