A Break in the Road
If you like music (and I am going to go out on a limb here and guess that you do) then you'll probably like A Break in the Road. Created by Luke Whittaker, the game puts you in the role of a DJ recording and collecting sound samples throughout the city to mix into a one minute piece. An amazingly well-produced cut scene, complete with top-notch voice acting talent, introduces the back story and drops you right into it.
There are a lot of places to scout for good sounds: someone shaking the carpet outside, closing a garage door, people humming while they work or waiting for the train. Even if you're looking for some lyrics in your piece, just head down to the coffee shop and catch some fragments of conversation—the people there, just like you or I, speak in rhyme.
Once you've loaded up on recordings its time to hit up the mix studio. There you can download the samples you've collected into your virtual computer, and then go back to the city for more or stay to compile your mix. Songs are created easily by simply drag-dropping any of the collected sounds onto one of 5 layered tracks. Editing is equally easy: just click and drag the samples where you want them. In about a minute, I had made the greatest song ever conceived—it urgently required that I call in my girlfriend to come and listen to it.
Once you have your masterpiece finished, you can then take it to the club and play it. A meter reads in how much the crowd is loving your song so you can see how it measures up. My first time, I got booed off the stage; but the great thing is, even if you have to suffer this humiliation you can always go back and make your song better! Not only that, but you can save the song and come back to it, and even email it to someone so they can check it out, too! I sent my revised copy to each of the major record labels in the hope of a record deal... you could also send it to a friend.
Analysis: This game is extremely well done. It goes beyond just being a simple "create a..." toy and becomes an actual game by giving you the challenge of pleasing the crowd at the club. It's a lot of fun exploring the city for sounds and seeing what you find, in a way it kind of felt like a Where's Waldo book with sound.
Aside from the great audio, the game also features fantastic hand drawn animation, artistic city backdrops, and superb voice acting—all done on a professional level. From the first second you start the game you feel immediately sucked into the world and story.
My only qualm, a very tiny one, is that I wish there were even more sounds—some of which could be hidden a littler harder. It didn't take long for me to visit all of the locations and see what was available. That said though, this is one of the best and most artistic games out there, going beyond just technical execution and becoming a form of self expression.
Cheers to Star for suggesting the game! =)