PAX Aus 2013: Hands-On: Muse, a Free-Roaming Musical Game

Tuesday, July 23rd, 2013

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Muse - Banner

Muse is the latest game from Australia developer Current Circus, based in Melbourne. It’s a relaxing free-roaming game in which you ‘musical events’ to create music.

In Muse, you start out in an underwater area with a little bit of background noise and nothing else of note. As you wander around, you’ll notice multi-coloured creatures known as musical events swimming around with you. Swimming into one of them will cause it to follow you around and start playing some music. The more you collect, the louder the music gets and the wider the variety of music in your collection.

Muse - Alternate Postcard

‘Wonders’ are entities found in Muse you can interact with to modify your music. Trying out the game, I found a sort of tunnel which sped up the tempo of the music I had created, and when I went back through the other way, it slowed down to its original speed. I found other such tunnels which raise and lower the pitch. If you quite like the song you’ve created, there are jellyfish-like creatures which will store your song so you can access it later and upload it to social media to share with your friends.

The world of Muse is constantly changing as you play, and the scenery changes according to the music. For instance, I noticed early on a giant ball of spikes that would pulsate along with my music’s bass-line; I’m sure there are more things like it which I didn’t get to see. The developers tell me that Muse is designed to be a multiplayer experience, and the more people present in a world, the more it will grow and adapt to their presence.

Muse - Screenshot 1 Muse - Screenshot 6
Muse - Screenshot 2 Muse - Screenshot 4
Muse - Screenshot 5 Muse - Screenshot 3

Muse is capable of supporting a number of different inputs; depth-camera, Leap, Dualshock 4, Wii U and Kinect 2 to name a few. It’s also possible to hook it up to multiple screens; the Current Circus booth at PAX had the game running on three. I really enjoyed the time I spent with Muse. It strikes me as a game that would be an excellent way to relax and unwind after some hard work. The beta will soon be open, with a release planned for later this year. Keep an eye out!