Music Catch Game

Music Catch - Relax to the max and let your reflexes take over with this stunning mouse-based music skill game

Travelling Light

Games aren't' traditionally made to relax people; that's what massage chairs are for, right? Well yes, but every now and then you come across a game that not only manages to be quite an addictive little specimen but whose design from the ground up is simply an utterly relaxing affair. The problem is that these games are extremely rare, otherwise the world would be a much calmer place than it is now. They come along every so often however much to everyone's delight. Titles like Auditorium (which has taken off in a big way) and Snow Tree are perfect examples, but one of the best kids on the block (though not new by any standards of measurement) is Music Catch, a predecessor to what is now Music Catch 2 and the seminal release of Reflexive's fantastically relaxing series. All you need to bring to the table is yourself and a mouse (don't forget your chair and to breathe as well, mind you): Music Catch has the rest covered.

Music to your Ears

The general premise of Music Catch is one of simplicity, a property that typifies both titles in Reflexive's unique mouse-based music game series. The aim is to collect the an assortment of shapes that emanate with gentle grace from the slowly-rotating surface on the screen. The number of shapes and the way in which they move vary according to the state of the gorgeous piano piece playing in the background as you play. You use the mouse to collect the green shapes, paying particular attention to the yellow ones since these increase the size of your cursor as well as your multiplier bonus. Be careful to avoid the red shapes however as these will cut your multiplier in half and shrink the size of your cursor.

On occasion you will also experience a purple shape which temporarily turns your cursor into a vacuum which sucks in all of the good shapes while leaving the bad behind. And so the cycle of release, collect, grow, shrink, and repeat is initiated so be prepared to sink into calm serenity as you do so as well in an atmosphere that is vaguely reminiscent of the hugely popular Auditorium, though a little less cerebral and a damn sight more calming.

A Sound-Based Embrace for the Soul

There's really not much more to the gameplay than collecting the various shapes as they are released and avoiding the red ones, but Music Catch was never about challenging the player to a reactions-based nightmare of frustration and annoyance. Music Catch's emphasis is more on the serenity of the experience as a whole. That isn't to say that the gameplay isn't addictive because it most certainly has you wishing for more as soon as the music ends. The way the shapes erupt with beauty out of the slowly-moving surface, all in time with the music and perfectly encapsulating the mood of the piece, is an achievement in its own right. The moments of exhilaration when you manage to avoid the red shapes and snap up a cheeky purple is also quite a feeling, as is beating your previous score and maximum multiplier as well. The larger your shape gets, the more difficult it is to avoid the harmful red shapes, but you have to take the risk in order to best your previous score. Call it the most pleasant catch 22 situation you're ever likely to be in and you won't be far wrong.

Better Than a Happy Pill

There are few medications in existence that can produce the same elated feeling of hitting a 100x multiplier whilst the piano piece transitions from a happy major to a heart-wrenching minor chord in background: this is the unique appeal of Music Catch. The design is also extremely soft on the eyes with a black background and the only colours being the shapes that appear as not to make the whole thing ambiguous or more difficult than it needs to. The only thing that can beat Music Catch at its own game is the sequel of the very same name, plus a suffixed "2" of course: Music Catch 2 takes the challenge of the original to the next level, but it is a game that wouldn't exist were it not for the brilliance of Music Catch, a game for the soul.

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