Happy New Year! I hope that 2009 was as good as it could have been for you, and that 2010 is shaping up to be a good one as well. I'll do my best to ensure that the musical side of things is at least interesting. I'd like to start off with a little EP that was released back in November: the Machinarium Bonus EP.
Machinarium, for those unfamiliar with it, is a puzzle adventure game that was released last fall for multiple operating systems. It has been widely hailed as one of the best independent releases of 2009, and after having played through most of it (I'm still working on the rest), I can easily see why. The hand-drawn graphics are gorgeous, and the gameplay is extremely engaging - as soon as one puzzle has been solved, the little robot character proceeds to another location, which is often bigger and more complex than the previous one. It reminds me (very favourably) of some of the older adventure games I used to play like Day of the Tentacle, The Dig, and Sam and Max Hit the Road, although with more emphasis on puzzles and brain teasers in addition to the inventory-based gameplay of those games. The free demo on the game's website that gives a good taste of what it is like in case you'd like to experience it firsthand.
Those who purchase the game get a free MP3 copy of the entire soundtrack, but like the demo, this bonus EP is completely free for anyone who wants it. There is a nice variety of music on its five tracks, from the jazzy, percussive "The Robot Band Tune" (a song which comes together piece by piece in the game), to the absolutely grooving "Pipe Wrench Dubstep", to the more mellow and atmospheric "By the Wall". I haven't heard all of these songs within the game yet, but the ones I have heard are actually incorporated into the game extremely well, serving as little rewards for solving some of the longer puzzles.
If you're a fan of video game music at all, this EP is well worth checking out (and you may want to see some more free video game music that I've featured in the past). Let me know what you think about the music, and also the game itself if you decide to play it. Happy listening!