Songs to See Indie Music Game Review

Songs2See is one of the most ambitious indie games and music games in years

If I’d had Songs to See during my 24 years as a pianist, perhaps my teachers wouldn’t have needed to rap my ruler so much. . .

Songs2See sets a very clear ambition: genuinely teach players how to play music. It’s in stark contrast to most music games, which, despite being tons of fun, can hardly be considered educating. You won’t be using a pretend guitar in Songs2See; instead, you’ll be using actual instruments that come bundled with the game, including a flute, saxophone and bass. There’s also the potential for further instruments to be added with updates.

Songs2See is the first music game to use real instruments, and the first game to genuinely each players how to play music. The teaching is carried out by way of fingering displays and a learning mode that allows you to practice. There is one limitation to the learning, however: a prerequisite of at least some knowledge of music. You can’t just grab the sax and start playing. There’s nothing that teaches the basics of the instruments. This is a bizarre omission as it would not be particularly time consuming nor expensive for the developer to provide basic information to get you playing—a least for a couple of the simpler instruments.

The game / educational tool does very little to welcome you into the game, either. There isn’t a title screen or tutorials or anything telling you what you’re supposed to be doing. You’re left clicking around trying to work out what’s going on, clicking icons to see what happens.

The biggest problem Songs2See suffers from is the fact that it can’t distinguish between voices. You can play any instrument, or sing, at the right pitch and the game will think you’re playing the note on the corresponding instrument. That doesn’t particularly matter, to be fair; it doesn’t stop the game from being useful or enjoyable, it’s simply a bizarre fact.

Song2See clearly is not perfect. Yet to dismiss it would be a huge mistake. For starters, the reason why Songs2See isn’t perfect is because it is innovative. Unlike developers who make yet another shooter, and therefore have thousands of other games to use as blueprints, Songs2See has no template to work off of. Inevitably, such an innovative and inventive game isn’t going to be perfect.

Yet, despite its hiccoughs, I have to support Songs2See on merit of its innovativeness. Songs2See pushes gaming into a new realm. No other game has even tried to truly teach music. The fact that Songs2See even attempts such a lofty ambition says a lot of the developer.

I honestly hope Songs2See gets the support it deserves. It needs an update, and a polish, but it’s a highly ambition title, packed full of potential.

For more on Songs2See visit the game’s website.


Paul Harrison

Paul M Harrison is an entertainment journalist, novelist, and blogger, and a specialist in the theory of storytelling. Paul Harrison can be contacted via his personal website or on Twitter or Facebook.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *