Auditorium is a fantastic new puzzle game of music and light, by Dain Saint and William Stallwood of Cipher Prime. Currently it's a comprehensive demo of a work in progress. There are about 15 levels in the demo, so it already makes for a great game.
Solve each level by manipulating the flow of light to create the perfect balance of music. The streams of light represent sound particles that you bend toward boxes until the audio levels are full. When the flow is correct, the audio levels fill up with the proper color and all the parts of the music will play.
The controls are very intuitive, but the main thing you need to know is you can expand and contract each direction button by clicking and dragging the edges. You start off with a directional arrow or two to guide the streams of light toward the audio level boxes. The navigation buttons become more tricky on later levels with the addition of the attractor control (the other controls mentioned in the instructions aren't available yet). You'll also have multiple colors to contend with, where you must guide the streams of light through rings of color to match the correct audio boxes.
If your computer is older you might want to take the game out of full screen mode—just press [ESC]. You can also right-click to change the graphics setting lower.
Analysis: Often puzzles that involve directing a beam of light to an object are very rigid and there's only one answer. One of the best things about this game is there are many ways to solve each puzzle, which makes taking your time to experiment and have fun with the flow just as satisfying as finding the solutions. The last couple of levels, however, test the free form philosophy of the game makers, as they seem so complicated and so placement-specific that it's hard to imagine that there truly are multiple solutions. The last level especially requires you to place things just right, which can be a little frustrating. But for the most part, the game certainly delivers on the idea. Hopefully they will continue to develop with some higher tolerances built in.
The demo is presented in three "Acts," with a short teaser ending showing some of the controls and obstacles that will be added in the final game. The teaser is a bit of a let down, as you barely get time to look at it before it ends. It would have been better to end with the triumphant completion of the final puzzle. The game could also use a better title, nit-picky but true.
Linux users: If you experienced trouble playing the game before, please try again. The game authors have made a small change to the embedding code on the game page that may help with playing the game on Linux.
The music, digitally composed by Dain, is integral to the design of the game. It has enough variety from one level to the next that it doesn't get too repetitive (unless you get really stuck on a puzzle). It is fairly soothing for the most part.
Auditorium is very impressive in that each section you start to fill complements the musical piece until you hear the entire orchestration, and each part separately sounds just as good. Even more impressive, the visuals are dynamic and work on their own, even without sound.
Creative and challenging, this game has truly exceptional design and is a lot of fun to play.