music maker game Incredibox

Can a game still be great if you can’t do anything wrong? New French music-making game Incredibox proves that the answer is yes. As Laughing Squid points out, the simulator is the product of a a collaboration between multimedia studio So Far So Good and musicianIncredible Polo, and the product is a wonderfully surreal free online game that’s as rich in details as any online music-maker I’ve seen yet.

An interactive web-based Flash game made by French artist Incredible Polo has struck a chord with web users.

The viral game, called Incredibox, lets users remix all-vocal tracks, by dragging and dropping different sounds, vocals, effects and beats onto animated characters. The site became so popular with users that, after 600,000 visits in one day, the server crashed. Incredible Polo said “we think it is really broken” but assured users that “Incredibox will be back soon.”

The setup is simple. Once the game is done loading (be patient, it’s worth it), all the user has to do is mix and match musical elements (different beats, different melodies), and let the game repeat the loop. Incredibox won’t give you any points for your creations, nor can you run out of lives, but all the elements are pre-arranged in the same tempo and scale so that you can’t possibly play a wrong note. It’s a bit like the great Daft Punk simulation iDaft, online sequencers such as Otomata and iNudge, or even Björk’s iPad apps—except with more shirtless French men.

Indeed, what makes Incredibox so fresh is its bizarre combination of attitude and silliness. Each new band member emerges clothed solely in a goatee; only when you assign them a musical part will they suit up in corresponding outfit, complete with silly hat. I’m not sure why, but the look of the cartoons seems to me undeniably French. Gizmodo compared Incredibox’s all-vocal music to the songs of Bobby McFerrin, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the band picked up cigarettes and started smoking to Serge Gainsbourg.

Play l’Incredibox.


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