Lost in Harmony
Switch version tested
Lost in Harmony: The Musical Odyssey is an endless runner with a heavy focus on music but also aims to tell a moving story. This great idea comes from the relatively new French indie studio Digixart Entertainment, co-founded by Yoan Fanise who helped realise the brilliant Valiant Hearts as well as various other Ubisoft properties.
The story centres around characters Kaito, a young boy, and his best friend Aya. One day Kaito becomes trapped inside a dream world after falling asleep and this is where the action begins. He must try to escape back to reality while all the time being hounded by the fear that he has recently found out Aya is seriously ill. Kaito and Aya set off on this heartfelt adventure using his skateboard to traverse through each level, picking up stardust and balls of light as they progress to earn points.
Originally released on the mobile platform the Lost in Harmony was designed to be played via touch controls which have also been included for this Switch release. A big plus point is being able to change between touch and physical input methods as the Joy-Con’s definitely provide a much greater sense of accuracy as you attempt to dodge all of the different obstacles along the way. Anything ranging from cars and motorbikes on the first level to Tetris like blocks, these change many times over the course of the game’s levels but the core mechanic stays the same. Inbetween the dream sequence levels the story is told in the form of text messages going back and forth between Kaito and Aya. Later in the story another character is introduced, M.I.R.A.I an AI that is trying to escape from his creator who is told to disassemble him (all I can think of now is short circuit).
As mentioned in the opening paragraph this is a music game, I have a long history with the rhythm action genre having spent a lot of time with them over the years even though I’m not always that great at them. It can be likened even to games like Rock Band in the way you build up the meter and combos. While the story is unfolding before your eyes there is a big emphasis on the amazing soundtrack that is pumping through the speakers. It even tells you at the beginning of the game to use headphones and it pays off allowing you to clearly hear the beautiful arrangements and immerse yourself in the moment without the fear of being disturbed. The development team have put a lot of work into selecting the perfect tracks and it shows.
The artwork is stunning with a bright visual in a hand-drawn art style. It really works here and helps the characters faces show such emotion even while skating down the lanes. The Switch version as you would expect from a mobile port runs perfectly and I didn’t experience any major issues while playing. To date, DigixArt have made two games – Lost in Harmony being their first and also 11-11 Memories Retold (which a review is coming for in the future). I found this brilliant statement and on their website:
We put all our expertise into creating moving and meaningful experiences
We want people all around the world to enjoy our games
From playing Lost in Harmony it is evident that they truly believe in what they are setting out to do as the sentiment flows through their freshman game. They have crafted a universally enjoyable game that anyone can pick up and play as the premise is simple but has a deep underlying message running through it. As progression is made they quickly ramp up the dramatic events of the storyline and hit you right in the feels (for lack of a better term). I cannot recommend this game enough, I keep re-playing through the levels just trying to beat my scores and then increasing the difficulty to get better overall scores experiencing more of this beautiful game.
I cannot recommend this game enough, I paid for it on Switch but have just found out that it is free on iOS and Android. At any price the game is amazing, you get to experience a beautiful story backed up by fantastic music. The visuals instantly make this stand out from most of the other endless runners available and there is always something going on. Overall Lost in Harmony is a superb game that deserves more people’s eyes on it.
Beard Score: 9/10
Nintendo Switch Essentials:
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Release Date: 26/01/2018
No. of Players: 1
Category: Adventure, Music, Arcade
Publisher: Plug In Digital
Download link: eShop