1500DS Spirits: Igo – PA137

 

Nothing beats Go on the go, and that’s exactly what you get with 1500DS Spirits Volume 10: Igo! Game developer and cosmetics company Tasuke put out a number of these budget titles for the DS and DSiWare around 2007-2008, consisting mostly of board and card games. They’re similar to the more well known D3 “Simple” series of budget titles. Igo is the 10th and final game in the 1500DS Spirits series, released in May of 2008.

We weren’t able to find a composer for the game but it’s another short episode with a nifty traditional Japanese soundtrack. Sit back and enjoy, and share your favorite Go strategies.

Show notes and track list

WonderBorg – PA136

In the late 90s, programmable robot toys were becoming popular and WonderBorg was no exception. Released by Bandai in 2000 for the WonderSwan and later for the PC, WonderBorg was a kit that included a programmable beetle robot and a application called Robot Works which allowed you to send basic commands to it.

The WonderBorg featured a number of sensors to give it some awareness of the world and it was capable of some moderately sophisticated conditional programming. It featured a simple code-free graphical condition builder and a few different modes like training, and even a Tamagotchi style “pet” mode in the Japanese release.

Sadly we couldn’t find the composer of the music to give them proper credit but kick back and listen to some crunchy percussion and dance beats in this short episode. We hope you like it.

Show notes and track list

Waterworld – PA135

In 1995, the movie Waterworld was released and the real world was changed forever. As we pass the 25th anniversary, we attempt to rehabilitate the reputation of a perfectly competent mid 90s action film and then “dive” into the music of the many licensed cash-in games that followed the film’s release.

The bulk of the Waterworld games were fittingly developed and/or published in 1995 by Ocean Software for the SNES, Virtual Boy, and Game Boy. They’re a series of action games featuring a combination of swimming, platforming and boat combat stages. We also cover the unreleased Mega Drive port (based on the SNES) and briefly touch on the oddball PC Waterworld, a real-time strategy game published by Interplay in 1997. After we recorded the show we realized we missed a Waterworld pinball game, so apologies if you’re sad that we left it out!

Each version features a different composer, and the music ranges from bad to excellent with no real correlation to gameplay quality. Join us as we go through 5 releases of the game, with a heavier emphasis on the SNES, VB, and MD versions.

Special thanks to Scooblee for ripping the Mega Drive version of the music on Project2612 earlier this year.

Show notes and track list

Aqua Kitty with Electric Cafe – PA134

Aqua Kitty is an indie game success story. Developed by Tikipod and initially released in 2012 as a Playstation Mobile game, it saw continued releases with new features and improvements up to its most recent release on Switch in 2018, and it remains a blast to play today. We’re very lucky to be joined by the game’s composer, Mark Day (aka Electric Cafe) to talk about the music for Aqua Kitty in its various incarnations, as well as several other projects he’s worked on.

The game is a tough as nails underwater arcade style horizontal shooter where you defend milk mining kittens from being abducted from waves of robotic fish. It borrows some of the best elements from games like Defender and R-Type and combined with the catchy soundtrack makes for an addictive experience that encourages “just one more game”.

Developer Tikipod is an indie game studio started in 2009 by artist and designer Dugan Jackson. They specialize in modernized classic arcade style games with Dugan’s beautiful pixel art. Their other games Rock Boshers and Iron Crypticle are top down 8-way directional games like Gauntlet and Robotron and are both great fun to play. They’ve also contributed dev work to other game studios like Curve’s Stealth Inc, JAW Games Gravity Crash and Gravity Crash Ultra, and Omnisystems’ Eufloria, among other projects.

Mark Day is a UK based composer also known by his production company name Electric Cafe. Mark’s work on Aqua Kitty infuses chip sound reminiscent of the C64 and Amiga with modern styles and production for a pumping energetic soundtrack to keep you going throughout the frantic action. His new tracks for Aqua Kitty UDX in 2016 add flavor to the game while remaining true to its original spirit. Electric Cafe has been producing music for games and TV for over a decade, including music for popular British TV shows like “BBCs – The Apprentice” and “Top Gear” as well as games like Rock Boshers, Crazy Comets and Diner Dash.

In the later part of the show we talk with Mark and play music from several of his other projects, like his “imaginary RPG” album Shadow Spirits co-written with Cody Carpenter (son of the famous director John Carpenter), his ongoing remake of Double Dragon on the Amiga, and upcoming games Neopolis and the recently announced Aqua Kitty 2. As we often say on the show, let’s take a listen to a wide range of music by Mark Day.

Show notes and track list

Hover Racing – PA133

In 1996, Sony opened the floodgates to indie console game development on the Playstation 1 through their Net Yaroze platform. Over the next several years, short games and demos of all kinds were created and distributed with game magazines on demo discs, including the focus of today’s episode.

Hover Racing was created by a small team of university students led by designer Tomokazu Sato between April and November of 1997, a concise but polished clone of futuristic racing games like F-Zero X and Wipeout. The core gameplay consists of 3 Grand Prix with 3 tracks each, as well your usual practice and time attack modes. Like many games of the genre, you race at high speeds through sharp turns, boost pads, jumps and harsh terrain, all at a beautiful 60fps. Overall it’s an impressive package from a team of novice indie game developers.

The core of the soundtrack was composed by Hiroaki Ohmori and features breezy tunes from popular electronic genres of the day; piano house, drum and bass, and techno. Ohmori went on to compose professionally for a few years, but lately seems to be more of a hobbyist musician. The second composer Tohru Kawakami contributed one joint track, but unfortunately we couldn’t find any other info about him.

Join us as we discuss this unique moment in indie game dev history, and cover the music of Hover Racing.

Massive thanks to our friend 

Show notes and track list

Airport CEO with Sinephony – PA132

We’re joined once again by Swedish audio production team Sinephony, this time listening to the mellow jams from the 2017 game Airport CEO. The game is a tycoon and management sim from Swedish game developer Apoapsis Studios where you act as CEO of your own airport, in the tradition of games like Transport Tycoon and Sim Coaster. Airport CEO is currently available on Windows and Mac.

Sinephony is a multi-talented production team consisting of Daniel Rosenqvist and Anton Dromberg. They’ve worked on games like 198X, Planet Coaster, Elite Dangerous Horizons, commercials and even a few anime projects. Between the two of them, Anton and Daniel have a wealth of experience in audio production, composition and arrangement, and live performance. Anton has been a member of the Swedish Jazz scene for years and has toured all over the world. Daniel studied composition under former Konami and Square Enix composer Kenichiro Fukui, and also has experience with field recording, sound effects and mixing.

The music of Airport CEO is a stunning collection of breezy and jazzy tunes. It’s full of amazing live performances including Anton on keys & synth and Daniel on bass & synth, and we hope you enjoy the music.

Show notes and track list