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For:   Also on: iPhoneiPad
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Sounds a bit whiffy

Product: Synesthetic | Developer: Alex Dantis | Format: iPhone | Genre: Music/ Rhythm | Players: 1 | File size: 18.2MB | Version: Europe | App version: 1.0
Synesthetic iPhone, thumbnail 1
Synesthesia is a phenomenon whereby the stimulation of one of your senses has an unusual bearing on another. For example, some have reported that they can see colours when sounds are made.

Synesthetic, the new iOS game that's been named after this cross-sense condition, also manages to evoke distinctive responses from its sights and sounds.

For example, very soon after I started playing the game I experienced nausea, followed by extreme boredom. 

Racy music

Flippant remarks aside, what we have here is a trippy tunnel runner in the vein of Retro Revolution or Boost 2.

As with those games you race along a twisting psychedelic course in first-person, dodging obstacles by tilting your iPhone or iPad left and right. The key difference here is that the courses have been designed around music.

You see, the levels unfold according to the music track playing in the background. The more intense the track, the faster and more intensive the action, while every beat throws a bump into the mix.

As these tracks are based entirely on your own music collection, there are potentially thousands upon thousands of track variations available.


If only the actual game part of Synesthetic wasn't so weak. One of the problems is that anything more than a mid-tempo track sends the game a little haywire - unfairly so. It can be impossible to see an obstacle before it's right in front of you.

This can seem completely out of sorts with the track you're playing until you realise that the game's registering every little beat - even a hi-hat tinkle - as cause for a massive bump. It can be quite disconcerting.

It doesn't help that the busy backgrounds - which call to mind those cheesy videos for early acid house tunes 20 years ago - completely mess with your depth perception, and that the view keeps annoyingly tilting away from the track. Meanwhile hitting obstacles gives no feedback - the music simply fades out for a bit.

There are three game modes available per music track, but whether you're dipping through rings, avoiding slipping into a black and white ghost world, or just playing the normal Vibe mode, you're doing much the same thing.

And that's not very much fun at the best of times. Synesthetic may look and sound pretty decent, but it feels all wrong.

Reviewer photo
Jon Mundy | 25 July 2012
This conceptually solid music-based tunnel racer gets it all wrong in the execution, with disorientating track layouts and dull gameplay
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