Notes - Adam Procter

Crisp, minimal personal blog theme for Hugo

Watanabe's Midlife Crisis - Soundtrack Review

A key factor within game design is sound design, Diogo Lopes created the game Watanabe to tell the story of a Japanese worker that is suffering a midlife crisis, Watanabe creates a teleportation device to escape his life each weekend but something goes wrong and finds himself stuck midway, a digital type of purgatory, this space is where he needs to reconcile all the parts of his life and thus recover and return home, like a personal quantum leap.

The game is in essence a pure storytelling device and the soundtrack plays an integral role. I’m a sucker for 8 bit sounds and each level has a themed 8bit sound track that is not only contemporary but also feels nostalgic, now this is not just due to the sound scape but the composition is fantastically executed, it has moments of wonder, thoughtfulness and hints at childhood memories that interweave so well with the level design.

Often game soundtracks can be a little underwhelming when not experienced within the game but each track was composed around the level concept, colour choices and the mood of Watanabe as he progresses through his world this means the soundtrack conveys the same wonderful thoughts and emotion and progression from trapped crisis to liberating reconciliation.

I wonder if the track names themselves should have indicated the game journey a little more and the people in each level that Watanabe meets rather than refer purely to the level name but hey.

So if you want to own a piece of unique game soundtrack before Hasan Abdullah is snapped up to work on the next that game company soundtrack you can enjoy 8bit enlightenment for only £6 GBP.