A Musical Story is a captivating, rhythm-based game made by French game development studio Glee-Cheese and published by Digerati. This game showcases memories through music, allowing the player to see the world through sounds first, before moving on to see what visuals go with it.
A Musical Story - plotYou are currently in the mind of Gabriel, a young boy who is in some sort of comma, trying to come to terms with his life and situation through his musical memory. Despite A Musical Story being a narrative-driven adventure, you won’t actually read any of the story. Everything is told through artistic cutscenes and the music that you are hearing.
This game is set in the 1970s, where you can see the memories of Gabriel and listen to soundtracks influenced by bands like Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd and Air. The music itself is wonderful - it’s one of those game soundtracks that I could listen to all day. As it’s a rhythm-based game, having great music is even more important. The controls are simple, having you tap and hold sides of the screen to a rhythm, easily able to play with your thumbs on a phone.
A Musical Story - GameplayWhen it comes to the rhythm-based gameplay, I did find actually playing the game to be quite challenging. Particularly, when the song loops. There is a circle that you can see, visually, to help you understand where the song is. When you first hear the song, you are able to watch the circle build, but part of it is always cut off at the top of the screen. Mentally, it’s a struggle for me to visualise the arch of the circle and follow the sound around it, as the circle is broken, meaning that every single level took me several tries to get the flow correct. I just wish this entire circle was on the screen. Cleverly, A Musical Story does offer some help if you struggle to complete the song - a glowing orb starts to appear, subtly showing you the way forward.
As you hit the right notes, the middle of the screen starts to show you a bit more, revealing the whole picture and memory once you have finished that selection of the song. The levels themselves are a great length, being short and sweet which feels great for mobile devices, and I do love the aesthetic and following the story itself.
A Musical Story is set to come out in Summer of 2021, on PC, mobile and Nintendo Switch.