While kids nowadays care about fancy schmancy graphics in their games, I remember the days of having an SNES and being delighted with pixelated games and chiptune music. Regardless of what anyone says, these were the golden days of gaming, and I wouldn’t trade them for anything. So whenever I see a retro looking game hit the App Store, I always get pretty excited. And such is the case with Arranger.
The game features fantastic 8-bit graphics and the chiptune is purely amazing. Seriously, if there is only one reason to get this game, I would say it’s for the chiptunes. It’s beautifully composed and just a pleasure to listen through headphones, as the game recommends. Kudos to Arman Bohn for composing the soundtrack.
You’re a wanderer in the land of Musica, helping out other citizens through the use of music and puzzling mini-games. I’m not sure why a lot of these characters you encounter always have problems that only you can solve, but hey, it adds a level of charm to the game. And did I mention that music is your main weapon? Because it is, and it’s actually rather awesome.
Controls are simple enough — you basically just have to move around in different areas. You can choose between Touch or D-pad controls. You can store items that you come across at home with your “Dorg,” but any instruments you obtain will be accessible from the side panel slots. These instruments are important, because what would you be without them? When a character has something important to say to you, they will have an exclamation mark above their head. These NPCs basically give you tasks and quests to complete as you make your way across the land, and you will want to reap the benefits of the rewards.
As you encounter different mini-games, controls will vary. So far, I’ve encountered a battle against a giant brain where you must shoot it with your magical music (composed of three instruments of your choosing), a Simon Says type memory game where you have to recall the sequence of lights and beats, and a puzzle where you must get a ball from Point A to Point B while there are moving walls (with gaps) in the center. Pretty wacky, right? That’s what makes the game incredibly fun. As you come across mini-games, some of them can be unlocked in Arranger’s “Mini-Game” mode, with a total of 24 for you to find. These will only become unlocked if you can clear them. All of the mini-games have leaderboards through Game Center, and the game has seven achievements to obtain.
The real magic of Arranger are in the boss battles. Each area will have one, and to “battle” them, you will have to play music that suits its taste, utilizing only the instruments that you currently have — that’s why it’s important to get as many as you can. For these, you can only take up to three instruments. You will have to fire notes to the brain in the “pleasure center” before the song you came up with ends. It’s definitely challenging, but a delight all the same.
My only complaint is the saving system, since it saves automatically, and I can’t find a way to manually save just in case. But hey, as long as my progress is still there, that’s all that matters, right?
I find Arranger to be quite an enchanting game, and it’s a pretty remarkable combination of adventure, music, puzzles, and mini-games. If you’re a fan of these types of games, and love retro visuals and amazing chiptunes, then do yourself a favor and pick up Arranger for $0.99 for your iPhone in the App Store.