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Uniting music and puzzles
Just as the name implies, it’s a Lab for creating music tracks. Developed for PSVR and Move it puts you in front of a DJ- like Table with all kinds of tools called Optics. Although creation is mostly the main draw, there is also the “Evolve Mode” that offers a puzzle experience. Music tool and puzzle in one package, but does it work?
Genre: Music Creator & Puzzle
No. of Players: 1
Downloadsize: ca. 700 MB
PS Plus: Not required
PS Move: 1 or 2 REQUIRED!
PS Move a controller for all needs
It’s quite surprising, but Track Lab can only be played with PS Move and works as an tool for everything you need. You can grab, twist, pull, push, etc. it’s quite intuitive and works in tandem with the visual cues.
The Concept: A Track Laboratory
Everything works based on a grid with one or more points of origin shooting out a linear moving light. By using all kinds of Optics you can manipulate it, splitting, speeding up, slowing down, redirecting, reflecting, stopping, across the grid. The main contributor are the sound bubbles that can house a specific sound. The moment the light hit the tool it gets activated.
Up to four “Tracks” can run at the same time, enabling a multi track melody.
Fortunately there is a small tutorial and some kind of introductory mode called Evolve Mode, though it still leaves the general concept of creating music in the air.
For normal players who dwell outside the realm of making music and just want something to play, this is probably the most interesting one. It offers four different kinds of music styles, each of them with 3 difficulties. Although the latter two need to be unlocked, before gaining access.
This mode practically puts you into a slightly chopped up piece that you need to repair by putting the optics into the right places. It can look complicated, but is actually simple overall. The experience of completing the music piece by piece is quite stellar.
This one is made for all the creative people or people who just want to dabble into it for fun. It comes with example tracks and if you have finished Evolve Mode, then those will also be at hand.
It can take some time before you can start, because before everything else, you need to get familiar with all the tools offered. All Optics that are used in Evolve Mode is obviously also available.
The sound library is categorized into main and sub groups. Like Chiptunes, World, Dubstep, etc..
When things get going, one can’t help but notice the lack of visual aid distinguishing the different Octaves and amidst other things.
Graphics and Sound
The graphics are in wireframe hybrid style and reminds one of partially of Rez and Vib Ribbon. The DJ table is colorful and surprisingly the track cubes are very detailed. Even though you are not working on it, you can still see inner workings of them.
The sound is fine and the example tracks are quite interesting too, so I have no qualms in this part.
Track Lab is a very interesting VR game with a lot of potential. The emphasis lies in potential. You can create music with it, but there are no options for sharing them other than the OS level video recording. If the “play, create, share” philosophy were to be applied to this, then there would be potentially a lot of user created puzzles or some cooperation in creating music.
The included puzzles can be finished quite fast, after that it’s all about the Create Mode. Regarding this, another extra tutorial that goes into the theory of making music would have been a nice thing.
Factually speaking, Track Lab is made for people to just go ahead and jam by trial and error. So if you are in the mood for some music, this might be a very interesting proposition.
Pros might find the limits very fast though. If Track Lab were to get more improvements and expanded, it could become something really special.
Got any questions? Feel free to leave a comment and I’ll try my best to answer them.
Special thanks to Sony Interactive Entertainment Europe for graciously providing the game.
I also found a good example of a created music on Youtube channel of a user called highlightnotes:
He even included a look into it:
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