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Synaesthete (Windows)

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Description

Synaesthete is a rhythm/music-based shooter developed by a team of students at the DigiPen Institute of Technology. Somewhat inspired by Rez, music is used as a weapon. The player controls Zaikman, a defense mechanism for the collective unconscious, visible from an isometric perspective and set in a psychedelic high-tech world with grids and flashing colours. Zaikman can be freely moved around different areas. From the main lobby, different worlds are unlocked gradually, each with different visual themes, enemies and music.

While playing, a tracker with 3 buttons is shown in the middle of the screen. Each level consists of different, connected rooms that need to be cleared one by one. Waves of enemies are attacked by pressing the buttons corresponding to the coloured bricks dropping down on the tracker. These patterns follow the background music playing in the level. If matched correctly, Zaikman fires, attacking the enemies. Not all notes need to be matched, but repetitive use of single notes lead to a dull gameplay and Zaikman will stop firing. The accuracy with which the notes are hit also determines the power of the shot. Successful sequences lead to combos, destroying many enemies at once. There is no need for aiming or reloading, you concentrate on matching the notes and avoiding enemies at the same time.

Upon clearing rooms and entering new ones, the musical theme evolves - different melodies and layers are added and the level design changes as well, not only through the colour but also through objects pulsating to the rhythm of the music. In certain areas Zaikman can collect notes that restore his health. Next to unlocking levels, Zaikman will also encounter spells to unleash during battle. With names such as Euphoria, Hyperspace, Tiger Style, Epiphany, Equilibrium and Seven Swords, they provide additional attack or defence power.

The world through which Zaikman moves, constantly evolves, with different shapes, lines and colours, and all kinds of messages appearing from the unconscious, such as the cool wind in summer, I came here alone and I go alone or vision is symphony. Certain levels contain level bosses with entirely different attack patterns. The music mainly focuses on the fast electronic genre, including trance, hardcore and techno. There are different difficulty levels, based on the amount of beats per minute.

Screenshots

Synaesthete Windows Use Tiger Style to build up a combo.
Synaesthete Windows This one is tough.
Synaesthete Windows Three simultaneous hits!
Synaesthete Windows Double laser for a combo note.

User Reviews

A pretty decent time-waster; probably more oriented towards 'clubbers' thud (88) 3.83 Stars3.83 Stars3.83 Stars3.83 Stars3.83 Stars

The Press Says

Softonic Jan 18, 2008 4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars 90

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Trivia

The main character, the "Zaikman," is actually a combination of the first and last names of the producer, Zach Aikman.

Related Web Sites

Sciere (251164) added Synaesthete (Windows) on Oct 30, 2007