Symphony is a title that appears to have gone under the radar for quite a long time, especially for fans of Rhythm games. As a fan of titles such as Beat Hazard and Audiosurf, when I first found out about this title I definitely wanted to play it. Thankfully, I found out about it through a recent Humble Bundle and thus was able to get my hands on it!
In Symphony, you find out your music is under attack by demons and you need to free it. To do this, you play through songs collecting power ups and occasionally you will find a song with a demon hidden it. Defeat this demon and you will unlock a piece of “The Symphony.” The Symphony contains five pages with three pages each. In short, there are five different demon “bosses” you can find and you will fight each three times.
The basics of the game is a shoot-em-up set to your music – or, if you have none, the pre-loaded songs that come with that game. As you defeat these you will gain score, and if you defeat an entire wave you will get a chain bonus.
The previously mentioned power ups come in the form of either random drops or cannon upgrades for your ship. You can even further boost the cannon upgrades by spending “Inspiration” and “Kudos” which you receive by completing songs. However, you have to be careful – put too big of upgrades on your ship and you will receive a score penalty! Thankfully, you can see what your penalty is – marked as a score multiplier – before you actually start the song and adjust your setup to fit what you want.
Each song you play will give a random item, however be prepared to see a lot of repeats. I have a fairly reasonable music library that I use for titles such as Symphony, however I definitely have a ton of repeat drops. There are rare drops you can get, though yes… I even have some repeats of these. While I understand limits, I feel like there probably could have been a wider variety of weapons you could get to avoid repeats as much.
Symphony does feature multiple difficulties. Unfortunately, these difficulties are gated behind defeating the previously mentioned bosses. Each complete piece of The Symphony you unlock will grant you access to the next tier of difficulty up to the Fortissimo level.
When the demon bosses appear, it feels quite jarring. You temporarily lose control of your ship and you can hardly hear what song you were playing for a bit while they “speak.” When defeated, you are dropped back into wherever the ships might be normally which can also be a bit jarring. Additionally, any time a boss appears you are disqualified from the online global leaderboards and if you wish to get a score on you must replay the song. While I can understand why, it would have been nice if the “bonus” you got from defeating whichever boss was equal to you perfectly scoring during the time you were out of the song.
Symphony, as just mentioned, does have online leaderboards. These are sorted by song, much like in Audiosurf. Though, unlike in Audiosurf, you can see if someone might be using a different version of the song and if there’s a big difference shown, you can compare accurately. Unfortunately due to Symphony being relatively unknown, the leaderboards a quite empty, even for songs I have that definitely had sizeable leaderboards on Audiosurf.
In the end, Symphony is definitely a title worth checking out if you are a fan of rhythm games. You can find the title on Steam for $8.99.
Symphony Review Score