Take your protein pill and put your headphones on for the free demo of Asterism, an “interactive music album” exploring a solar system one song at a time. Each visit to a planet lasts as long as the song, whisking us through scenes reflecting the lyrics and mood, rendered with a mix of 3D computer art and a range of handmade physical mediums. I was delighted from the first twang. And impressively, it’s mostly the work of one developer, Claire Morwood. Do have a look!
Asterism is about spacefolk in the future investigating mysterious signals across space and time. Turns out, we’re looking for data in the form of songs. It’s framed with wee adventure game-ish sequences, then we hop in our rocket to travel to a planet and record the data. By which I mean, we listen to the song while interacting with a music video-y bit roaming across the planet.
Skate across a frozen sea pricked with trapped ships. Paint lines across a landscape around a partner. Fold origami. Other things I’ll leave you to find for yourself. Interactions are simple, controlling your movement, an action, or just the camera, but I found that plenty to occupy me while delighting in the music and art. It’s build upon charming handcrafted art: textiles, painted dioramas, collage, chalk drawings, origami, and more. And as is pretty important for a music-based game, I do dig the music. I was just very pleased travelling through different songs, seeing how the music, lyrics, art style, and scenes reflected each other. I’m looking forward to the full game.
You can download Asterism’s demo from Steam. The full game is also coming to Itch.io. No word yet on when it will launch but Morwood has been writing devblogs on her site so there’s plenty to read if you’re curious.
This Steam Next Fest runs until Monday the 12th of February, so grab the demo while you can. We’re playing heaps of Next Fest demos so hit our tag for more recommendations.