One of my favorite things about the indie games movement as a whole is that it celebrates not only great game designers, but also the artists and musicians who help give many of these games such a distinctive audio-visual aesthetic.
As triple-A games continue on their way with one eye on Hollywood, scoring themselves with Hans Zimmer-esque orchestral soundtracks, independently-developed games explore all manner of different sounds to help makeup their overall audio-visual feel. Some take the chiptune approach to complement their pixelated visuals; others take influences from classical or folk tunes; others still base themselves around thoroughly modern electronica. The soundtrack for a good indie game is, in many cases, just as memorable as the game itself -- as well it should be.
The Game Music Bundle has been celebrating soundtracks from independent artists working in and around the games industry for some time now, but the latest offering is absolutely the best one yet. Taking in a variety of work across a wide range of different genres, it's an eclectic mix that should have something to cater to everyone's taste.
The current bundle has two "tiers" -- level 1 carries a $1 minimum price and includes six albums; level 2 has a $10 minimum price and adds an additional 13 albums into the mix.
You want specifics? All right. Here's what you can get for a "level 1" price:
- Monaco: What's Yours is Mine Original Soundtrack -- Austin Wintory
- FTL: Faster Than Light Original Soundtrack -- Ben Prunty
- Fez Original Soundtrack -- Disasterpeace
- Gunpoint Original Soundtrack -- John Robert Matz, Ryan Ike, Francisco Cerda
- Leisure Suit Larry Reloaded Original Soundtrack -- Austin Wintory featuring The Late Night Jazz Orchestra and Melora Hardin
- World of Goo Original Soundtrack -- Kyle Gabler
All of those are pretty great soundtracks in their own right, and those who have played Journey will know how strong Austin Wintory's compositions are in particular.
As for the "level 2" offerings, there's a nice mix of extended soundtracks and music inspired by a number of games, including the following:
- FZ: Side F -- Various Artists (Music inspired by Fez)
- FZ: Side Z -- Various Artists (likewise)
- Monaco: The Gentleman's Private Collection -- Austin Wintory and lots of friends
- The Forge -- Austin Wintory, Malukah, Tina Guo
- Hero of Many Original Soundtrack -- Trickster Arts
- Marble Time Original Soundtrack -- Calum Bowen
- Super Panda Adventures -- James Dean
- Anodyne Remix Album -- Various Artists
- Frog Fractions Original Soundtrack -- Various Artists
- Little Inferno Original Soundtrack -- Kyle Gabler
- Anodyne Official Soundtrack -- Seagaia
- Me and My Dinosaur Official Soundtrack -- David Saulesco
- Drox Operative Soundtrack -- Tori Kamal
As you can see, the level 2 offerings are mostly from slightly less well-known games, but having had a quick listen to a selection from each of them I can confirm that they're all worth a listen -- and who knows, you might find a new favorite game among them. (If you've never experienced it before, at least check out the wonderful Frog Fractions.)
Like the previous four Game Music Bundles, this fifth installment is distributed on a "pay what you want" basis, and can be downloaded in either MP3 or FLAC format. The top contributors will receive special prizes when the bundle's timer expires, too -- the top contributor will receive a Fez shirt signed by Disasterpeace, the top five contributors will get their hands on a score excerpt from the Leisure Suit Larry Reloaded soundtrack signed by Austin Wintory, and the top seven contributors will receive a copy of Monaco on Steam along with a Monaco poster.
Interested? You've got a little over 12 days to grab yourself a great deal at the time of writing. Find out more here.