In 2023, the gaming industry is home to all manner of engaging and immersive experiences. Video games have come a long way since those early days of arcade and console gaming. Clunky mechanics and pixelated graphics have given way to cinema-quality visuals, seamless gameplay and gripping narratives. The expansion of the gaming industry has also meant that there’s now a wide variety of gaming genres that appeal to people from all walks of life – including musicians.
Over the years, several music-themed games have been released that have given music lovers a chance to showcase their talents or, at the very least, express their passion! From rhythm-based games to VR mash-ups, the gaming industry has something to offer musicians of all genres. Then, there are those games that are perfect for busy musicians to play during their downtime. Let’s take a look at a few top examples.
Crypt of the NecroDancer
When it comes to rhythm games with a twist, Crypt of the NecroDancer is one of the most innovative out there. This game takes elements of roguelike dungeon crawling and fuses them with rhyme-based gameplay to provide a wholly unique gaming experience.
The game challenges players to navigate their way through procedurally generated dungeons while keeping in time with the music. Unlike other roguelikes, which can feel tiresome after a few rounds, COTN is the game that keeps on giving, run after run. Plus, the soundtrack is excellent, with a mix of electronic and orchestral music that perfectly complements its retro visuals.
Rock Band 4
The Rock Band video game series is probably the ultimate franchise for any would-be rock star to get their kicks. The most recent and expansive edition in the series is the imaginatively named Rock Band 4.
While it may not be up every jobbing musician’s street, the game nevertheless allows gamers to play along with their favourite songs using a guitar, bass, drums, or vocals. It has a huge library of songs to choose from, including classic rock hits alongside modern pop tunes, so there’s something for everyone.
Rock Bank 4 also features a campaign mode where players can create their own ranks and perform their way to stardom.
Digital roulette is now a staple game in the globally popular iGaming sector. This centuries-old casino game has had a digital makeover, with operators like PokerStars Casino having made an array of variants available on their platform. The accessibility of digital roulette makes it a hugely popular game with a wide variety of players.
So, why is roulette such a great game for musicians and music lovers to play? Well, firstly, most online roulette games feature a highly realistic soundtrack that plays during the game, with the tempo keeping pace with the action. Then, there’s the fact that roulette is actually a great game for musicians to unwind and relax with. While the game does require a level of focus and concentration, the spinning wheel and the sound of the ball bouncing around can be quite meditative.
What could be better than a Virtual reality rhythm game? How about a Virtual Reality rhythm game with added sword fighting? The neon-drenched Beat Saber provides just that, challenging players to slice and dice their way through a series of beats and obstacles using two lightsabers.
As players progress through the levels, the music increases in speed and intensity, ramping up the adrenaline and providing a thrilling and immersive experience. Being a VR game, it’s only possible to play Beat Saber using a supported headset, but the good news is it’s compatible with the PlayStation 4 and 5 when using PlayStation VR. The game can also be played on Oculus Quest.
God of War
As fun as it can be to play active music games, sometimes there’s nothing better than sitting back and being immersed in a far-off universe with a cracking soundtrack. God of War, released in 2018, features one of the most impressive game soundtracks in recent years. Composed by Bear McCreary, the game’s soundtrack features a blend of orchestral and Scandinavian-inspired music, with haunting vocals and percussive elements that perfectly capture the game’s epic and emotional story.