A mysterious entity is absorbing and corrupting your music before your very eyes. You must battle through your own song collection and fight to reclaim your music!
User reviews:
Overall:
Very Positive (1,150 reviews) - 85% of the 1,150 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Aug 6, 2012

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Reviews

“Symphony is fun, pure and simple.”
84/100 – PC Gamer

About This Game

Your music is under attack, you must liberate it!

A mysterious entity is absorbing and corrupting your music before your very eyes. You must battle through your own song collection, discover items, customize your ship and fight boss enemies to liberate the Symphony of Souls and reclaim your music!

Symphony is one of the most music-driven games ever made. In this vertical shooter, re-experience each of your songs as it becomes a unique battlefield driven by intensity and tempo.

Your music collection is now an item collection! Each of your songs contains an item you can discover, equip and upgrade. Fully customize your ship to reach score targets, upgrade items and unlock new difficulty levels.

Showcase your skill. Symphony's innovative per-song leaderboard rewards you more, when you dominate with less powerful weapons. Find the loadout that suits your style and show what you can do!

Key features

  • Battle a mysterious entity that absorbs and corrupts your music as it plays
  • Cutting-edge music analysis adapts the game to any song you like!
  • Innovative per-song leaderboard system rewards you based on your weapons and the difficulty level
  • 5 unique sets of boss enemies to conquer
  • 6 difficulty levels
  • Discover, collect and equip weapons hidden inside your own music collection
  • 30 achievements/medals to unlock
  • Supported file types:
    • Windows & Mac: MP3, OGG, WAV, FLAC, WMA (Windows only), AIFF, WV.
    • Linux: MP3, OGG, WAV, FLAC, AIFF
  • M4A & AAC supported via a DLC download for a small fee to cover patented decoder licensing costs (M4A & AAC also require the free QuickTime player)
  • Full amBX™ support (cool lighting!) - Windows only

System Requirements

Windows
Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    • OS: Windows XP SP3 / Vista / 7
    • Processor: 2 GHz
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Hard Disk Space: 500 MB
    • Video Card: MB, DirectX® 9.0c-compatible, Shader Model 3.0 or higher
    • DirectX®: DirectX 9.0c
    • Sound: DirectX 9.0c-compatible
    • OS: OS X 10.8 or later
    • Processor: Dual core, 2 GHz or faster
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: OpenGL 2.1 (with shader model 3 video card or higher)
    • Hard drive: 500 MB available space

    • Not recommended for Intel integrated graphics, Mac Mini's or early generation MacBooks
    • OS: Major Linux distributions from 2012
    • Processor: Dual core, 2 GHz or faster
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: OpenGL 2.1 (with shader model 3 video card or higher)
    • Hard drive: 500 MB available space

    • Not recommended for any integrated graphics GPUs
Customer reviews
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Overall:
Very Positive (1,150 reviews)
Recently Posted
SuperCraig64
( 9.2 hrs on record )
Posted: July 30
Symphony is a indie developed shoot-em-up developed by Empty Clip Studios that was released on Windows in August 2012, and Linux and Mac OS X in May 2014. To be fair, the custom music genre has been touched quite often when it came to games on Steam. However I find this one sitting on a pedestal somewhere among the names of Beat Hazard and Audio Surf.


The story of the game isn't complex as other games I have reviewed recently, but it's still something worth noting.
Upon booting up a new game, you are greeted by a mysterious entity, saying that music is what ties our souls and minds together. Along with that, it also mentions that it has taken control of your music, captured five of your greatest composers, and has composed the Symphony of Souls..using it to grow in power and eventually will use it to materialize into a physical being, potentially being the end as we know it. Using your ship, you must pilot through your music library and liberate it, free the souls of your best composers, and assemble the split pages of the Symphony of Souls in order to stop this mysterious entity's evil plans. It has to be a demon though. Glitch demon perhaps? Glitch grimlin? I can imagine myself shouting "glitch! glitch!" over and over again now.


The game looks very pretty! Everything does, unlike Beat Hazard where the insane particle effects are the best thing about it. The ships, the game screen, the game menus, even the various power-ups and demons you encounter are just pretty and overall fit well with such a game that strives to be pretty as the name suggests: a symphony.


The gameplay isn't too unqiue, but it does have it's twist with the genre. You control a ship, shooting down enemies. There's no actual way to lose, as if you die you only lose Insperation, which is score in this game. Your ship can be damaged in-game, but collecting Insperation also repairs your ship. When in doubt, collect Insperation. Insperation also acts as a currency for upgrading your ship weapons and unlocking new weapons and power-ups, such as a bomb or invincibility. Also it should be noted, that while your music has power over enemy spawning and potentially your difficulty, it does not have control over your ship power. Beat Hazard punished it's players for playing calm songs by making their ships weak as ♥♥♥♥. Over here in Symphony however, it only makes the enemies appear at a calmer rate.

Eventually as you play through the game (on the highest difficulty you unlocked), you will encounter a demon. These demons were made from one of your greatest composers' souls by the evil entity in an attempt to stop you from putting a wrench on it's plans. Each time you defeat a Demon, you gain a piece of a page of the Symphony of Souls. From what I can tell, each page requires three pieces to complete. Resulting in the total number of demons to be 15. However, there are only 5 unique demons; this is because every demon has to be fought three times each with a stronger "form". The first one may only throw walls at you. Then he comes back shooting more walls and some bullets at me. Then he goes ape with the walls and then tries to shoot violently at me. You get the picture.

Each time you obtain a page of the Symphony of Souls, you unlock a new dificulty. New enemies are introduced, and the AI gets smarter. At the same time, you earn more Insperation and Kudos from the higher difficulties. Oh yeah, almost forgot about Kudos! Kudos is a currency gained from acomplishing certain Insperation milestones during a stage, which ultimately judge your ranking. Obviously a 1-Star ranked score will earn less Kudos than the 2-star score, with the 0-star gaining no Kudos.


Normally I would judge the game's music as well, but I rather not for this review. It's a game that's purely determined by your music after all, right? If you want something from me regarding the subject, I loved the menu theme and found pleasure purposely idling there just to listen to the calm music. I didn't pay any regard to the "pre-packaged" music, due to my liking of game music more (along with my vast library of music). Sorryz..


While I'm making this game seem perfect, I need to note some flaws it has:

- This game has no cloud saves. I can understand that since everyone's music is different and there is looooots of music on the internet. However, it would be nice to at least have a backup save on the computer in case the first one is corrupted somehow. If you wish to know why I'm asking is because I lost my saves twice. My first one was from moving to a new computer (the save was near game completion, with at least four pages of the Symphony of Souls completed), and the other I just quit to the menu and it somehow deleted my save..I guess. Everything's alright now, but if it gets any worse I'll make sure to make a thread in the forums regarding this issue.

- The tutorial I believe cannot be skipped. It's pretty annoying having to go through it again, especially if you lost your save.

- While the normal settings are pretty alright, the naturally set mouse sensitivity is quite slow for me. I had to crank it to around 120 or so before I got the speed I wanted my ship to go. Yes: your ship is controlled by your mouse.

- Since I'm using game music, most of the time the enemies come off of sync. Nothing's perfect though, but it's pretty close to the actual beat. (I blame the instruments used in those songs, as they are retro and can easily throw a game like this out of whack.)

I do hear the game crashes for others, but I'm assuming it's a rare coincidence as I have yet to have a single crash on the game. Plus, the game has been updated quite a lot since it's release in August 2012.


My final judgements? While the game isn't perfect, it's a game I'd love to share with anyone who's interested into such games where your music makes a difference. I would only recommend this if you have a good library of music. If you need more songs and just happen to love game remixes, I suggest dropping on by to the OC Remixes website. There is a large collection of game remixes there, all of which are high quality.

Back with the final judgement, I would recommend this game to anyone who has a loving passion for music such as myself. However I don't see why you wouldn't give a game like this a try, as it is only around 9$.

Also to you Empty Clip Studios, you have definately earned my respect and my cash. c:
Helpful? Yes No Funny
青血 BLUE
( 6.0 hrs on record )
Posted: July 28
This game gives me new experiences of music!!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Luihutin
( 5.0 hrs on record )
Posted: July 27
If you've got the music library the size of a postage stamp, this game is fine. But if, like me, you have closer to 100,000 songs in your library, this game is a headache that's not worth your time.

I am already genuinely confused that this game needs to assign powerups to songs, but it's even more baffling that there isn't a proper search filter function, or just a basic "press the first letter of the name of the song you're looking for" in this thing. Even worse, if I accidentally hit the button to assign folders to search music from, I need to go through the process of looking through 100,000 tracks again - faster, but still time-consuming. Are you kidding me with this system?

And icing on the cake, if you ever move your music library around, like, say, from your hard drive to an external one for absolutely understandable space reasons, the songs in the game just float around dead, informing you that they can't be found in their original sources anymore. You can still upload those same songs in the game, but they won't count, they're just duplicates now.

Too many music games make the mistake of not having a proper filtering or search option, but this game went way and beyond making the process feel like a headache. If you have a big music library that you do not wish to start reorganizing just to appease the whims of this game, then avoid.

For any reference to the developer: For god's sake, just let me pick a song from my library and play it.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
OGMoney
( 3.4 hrs on record )
Posted: July 11
Wasn't sure what to make of this game so I took a chance and it's awesome. Jamming to your tunes and killing ships as they appear to the beats.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
๖CHESHIRES͡H̶R̴̷O̶OM
( 9.4 hrs on record )
Posted: July 11
Trippy arcade shooter powered by music. Unlockables and a story generated by your music library.
Also recommended by Psychonautic Gaming Collective
Helpful? Yes No Funny
HalcyonicAether
( 3.9 hrs on record )
Posted: July 3
Unfortunately this isn't a game I can recommend to players like me that rely primarily on controller or keyboard to play games due to physical issues. The idea is fantastic, but the mouse control, it just isn't something I am capable of coping with.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Sensei_Pong
( 3.6 hrs on record )
Posted: June 30
If you enjoy a good shmup that has an unlimited amount of levels to choose from (in account to how large your song library is), OR you enjoy rhythm games. This is a must pick-up for anyone.

Like most shmups, it's an easy pick up and play, but has plenty of unlockables to fiddle with and keep you occupied to keep playing.

Overall, if you enjoy Audiosurf, but want a twist, this is an easy add-on to your library.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Supercockroach
( 13.0 hrs on record )
Posted: June 26
Pros: Beautiful art style
Intuitive Controls
Good variety of weapons to use
Difficulty curve felt just right
Play to your own music
Does a pretty good job of matching gameplay to the beat compared to other games I have played
Zen

Cons: Can get a little repetitive after a while

Mixed: Corny story (take it as you will, I enjoyed it)
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Ragnar Lodbrok
( 1.4 hrs on record )
Posted: June 25
Great "Shoot 'Em Up" game!
Play your favorite music!
The game is so bright that your eyes start to shake! :D
Music: ビューティー殺シアム (Beauty killing Siam) - MAXIMUM THE HORMONE
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bHvVXj3TF6E
Helpful? Yes No Funny
matabhaine
( 0.1 hrs on record )
Posted: June 24
Just my opinion, of course. I bought this due to rave reviews but I found it needlessly awkward to setup, with a rather meaningless music/shooter tie in and just plain dull.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
9.2 hrs on record
Posted: July 30
Symphony is a indie developed shoot-em-up developed by Empty Clip Studios that was released on Windows in August 2012, and Linux and Mac OS X in May 2014. To be fair, the custom music genre has been touched quite often when it came to games on Steam. However I find this one sitting on a pedestal somewhere among the names of Beat Hazard and Audio Surf.


The story of the game isn't complex as other games I have reviewed recently, but it's still something worth noting.
Upon booting up a new game, you are greeted by a mysterious entity, saying that music is what ties our souls and minds together. Along with that, it also mentions that it has taken control of your music, captured five of your greatest composers, and has composed the Symphony of Souls..using it to grow in power and eventually will use it to materialize into a physical being, potentially being the end as we know it. Using your ship, you must pilot through your music library and liberate it, free the souls of your best composers, and assemble the split pages of the Symphony of Souls in order to stop this mysterious entity's evil plans. It has to be a demon though. Glitch demon perhaps? Glitch grimlin? I can imagine myself shouting "glitch! glitch!" over and over again now.


The game looks very pretty! Everything does, unlike Beat Hazard where the insane particle effects are the best thing about it. The ships, the game screen, the game menus, even the various power-ups and demons you encounter are just pretty and overall fit well with such a game that strives to be pretty as the name suggests: a symphony.


The gameplay isn't too unqiue, but it does have it's twist with the genre. You control a ship, shooting down enemies. There's no actual way to lose, as if you die you only lose Insperation, which is score in this game. Your ship can be damaged in-game, but collecting Insperation also repairs your ship. When in doubt, collect Insperation. Insperation also acts as a currency for upgrading your ship weapons and unlocking new weapons and power-ups, such as a bomb or invincibility. Also it should be noted, that while your music has power over enemy spawning and potentially your difficulty, it does not have control over your ship power. Beat Hazard punished it's players for playing calm songs by making their ships weak as ♥♥♥♥. Over here in Symphony however, it only makes the enemies appear at a calmer rate.

Eventually as you play through the game (on the highest difficulty you unlocked), you will encounter a demon. These demons were made from one of your greatest composers' souls by the evil entity in an attempt to stop you from putting a wrench on it's plans. Each time you defeat a Demon, you gain a piece of a page of the Symphony of Souls. From what I can tell, each page requires three pieces to complete. Resulting in the total number of demons to be 15. However, there are only 5 unique demons; this is because every demon has to be fought three times each with a stronger "form". The first one may only throw walls at you. Then he comes back shooting more walls and some bullets at me. Then he goes ape with the walls and then tries to shoot violently at me. You get the picture.

Each time you obtain a page of the Symphony of Souls, you unlock a new dificulty. New enemies are introduced, and the AI gets smarter. At the same time, you earn more Insperation and Kudos from the higher difficulties. Oh yeah, almost forgot about Kudos! Kudos is a currency gained from acomplishing certain Insperation milestones during a stage, which ultimately judge your ranking. Obviously a 1-Star ranked score will earn less Kudos than the 2-star score, with the 0-star gaining no Kudos.


Normally I would judge the game's music as well, but I rather not for this review. It's a game that's purely determined by your music after all, right? If you want something from me regarding the subject, I loved the menu theme and found pleasure purposely idling there just to listen to the calm music. I didn't pay any regard to the "pre-packaged" music, due to my liking of game music more (along with my vast library of music). Sorryz..


While I'm making this game seem perfect, I need to note some flaws it has:

- This game has no cloud saves. I can understand that since everyone's music is different and there is looooots of music on the internet. However, it would be nice to at least have a backup save on the computer in case the first one is corrupted somehow. If you wish to know why I'm asking is because I lost my saves twice. My first one was from moving to a new computer (the save was near game completion, with at least four pages of the Symphony of Souls completed), and the other I just quit to the menu and it somehow deleted my save..I guess. Everything's alright now, but if it gets any worse I'll make sure to make a thread in the forums regarding this issue.

- The tutorial I believe cannot be skipped. It's pretty annoying having to go through it again, especially if you lost your save.

- While the normal settings are pretty alright, the naturally set mouse sensitivity is quite slow for me. I had to crank it to around 120 or so before I got the speed I wanted my ship to go. Yes: your ship is controlled by your mouse.

- Since I'm using game music, most of the time the enemies come off of sync. Nothing's perfect though, but it's pretty close to the actual beat. (I blame the instruments used in those songs, as they are retro and can easily throw a game like this out of whack.)

I do hear the game crashes for others, but I'm assuming it's a rare coincidence as I have yet to have a single crash on the game. Plus, the game has been updated quite a lot since it's release in August 2012.


My final judgements? While the game isn't perfect, it's a game I'd love to share with anyone who's interested into such games where your music makes a difference. I would only recommend this if you have a good library of music. If you need more songs and just happen to love game remixes, I suggest dropping on by to the OC Remixes website. There is a large collection of game remixes there, all of which are high quality.

Back with the final judgement, I would recommend this game to anyone who has a loving passion for music such as myself. However I don't see why you wouldn't give a game like this a try, as it is only around 9$.

Also to you Empty Clip Studios, you have definately earned my respect and my cash. c:
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
5.0 hrs on record
Posted: July 27
If you've got the music library the size of a postage stamp, this game is fine. But if, like me, you have closer to 100,000 songs in your library, this game is a headache that's not worth your time.

I am already genuinely confused that this game needs to assign powerups to songs, but it's even more baffling that there isn't a proper search filter function, or just a basic "press the first letter of the name of the song you're looking for" in this thing. Even worse, if I accidentally hit the button to assign folders to search music from, I need to go through the process of looking through 100,000 tracks again - faster, but still time-consuming. Are you kidding me with this system?

And icing on the cake, if you ever move your music library around, like, say, from your hard drive to an external one for absolutely understandable space reasons, the songs in the game just float around dead, informing you that they can't be found in their original sources anymore. You can still upload those same songs in the game, but they won't count, they're just duplicates now.

Too many music games make the mistake of not having a proper filtering or search option, but this game went way and beyond making the process feel like a headache. If you have a big music library that you do not wish to start reorganizing just to appease the whims of this game, then avoid.

For any reference to the developer: For god's sake, just let me pick a song from my library and play it.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
87 of 100 people (87%) found this review helpful
5 people found this review funny
Recommended
2.5 hrs on record
Posted: March 22, 2014
It's like audiosurf and asteroids had a baby.

and it was beautiful.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
39 of 42 people (93%) found this review helpful
Recommended
10.8 hrs on record
Posted: May 23, 2014
Symphony is a must have if you are a music games fan. It allows you to enjoy your favorite musics while shooting stuff, you can also find new weapons to customize you ship according to your play style. Very relaxing! :)
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35 of 40 people (88%) found this review helpful
Recommended
3.8 hrs on record
Posted: November 2, 2014
This game is amazing. Not many words to describe it on its own, so I'll take two games and put them together to describe it. Space invaders and AudioSurf. Nuff said go have fun!
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26 of 26 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
9.6 hrs on record
Posted: June 7, 2014
Fun little Shoot 'Em Up that uses your own music to generate the waves of incoming enemies. You only have a small play zone to maneuver, with enemies coming in from the sides & top of your screen making for some intense close combat game play. The responsivness of your ship with the mouse is great giving you minute control over your position & graphically the enemies & weapons fire is easy to distinguish even when there is a lot going on, on-screen.

Each song completed will grant you a random weapons upgrade drop, with a chance of a rare drop. These can be purchased (& upgraded) to increase your firepower of the four weapons slots on your ship & you can even change the angle of fire for each slot to customise your layout further which is cool. This is needed as you progress up the difficulty levels & to kill the random bosses needed to complete the story mode. Scoring is combo based, so the more you can kill in sequence (with less enemies escaping), will grant higher scores but stay nimble as each death will cost you a score penalty. Each kill also drops a bonus '♫' to pickup, granting health, power-ups & score increases so you need to be quick & get them all before they disappear for the best scores.

I found all but the top two difficulty levels relatively easy; each difficulty level unlocks after killing three bosses. This can take some time making the start of the game feel rather dull to grind out the first few bosses, but if you stick with it, it becomes far more enjoyable later. For me, I just got a little tipsy off a few ciders, cranked up the volume & enjoyed some of my favorite tracks which certainly helped make the initial grind pass by much quicker :p .

Although your music generates the enemies, you don't really get a sense of any pattern to the beat which would have been nice. For example, sometimes it goes into 'hardcore mode' in parts of songs you wouldn't expect & this seems to increase in frequency the higher the difficulty you go. It's not a big issue though, as you do get the feeling of randomness in the waves so each run feels different.

Regardless of the few shortcomings, if you love your music & your shoot 'em ups it is very easy to waste away a few hours in ♪ Symphony ♪ liberating your music!


If you enjoyed reading this review, please follow True Blue Reviews for more recommendations!
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28 of 31 people (90%) found this review helpful
Recommended
6.8 hrs on record
Posted: October 10, 2013
This is another one of those games that I picked up on sale with a little bit of apprehension, but was pleased with the overall enjoyment of the game. It combines your music with a fast paced, challenging, customizeable, and enjoyable gameplay where you progress through an admittedly sketchy storyline.

If you like music and frequently have a handful of minutes that isn't enough to invest in a "real" game, but too much to let idle, then this is a fantastic game for you. Caution, after about three songs, you will start to cry -- blinking is a gift. Don't over estimate it.
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41 of 53 people (77%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Not Recommended
6.6 hrs on record
Posted: November 27, 2013
Symphony is a solid idea marred by bad design decisions, from the unlocking of weapons and adjustment of difficulty to simple tasks like song sorting. The visuals are frequently a confusing mess thanks to lack of contrast and effects overkill, and the deaths this causes are typically more of a frustration than actual punishment. The play area is regularly overcrowded, with your ship being relatively huge, your hit box fairly large, and the consequences for mistakes being inconsistent (and typically leaving you wishing you'd just died instead with how crippled your weapons can become).

I went in really wanting to enjoy the experience, but in the end I can't recommend this to anybody, especially on the same platform that brings so many people Audiosurf and Beat Hazard, either of which will give you a superior experience at a similar price.
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27 of 30 people (90%) found this review helpful
Recommended
36.5 hrs on record
Posted: December 8, 2013
Symphony is another way of enjoying your music. This addictive and engaging casual shooter uses your music to configure the levels which you play. The game on itself is not very long... the story mode, at least, but as long as you want to just shoot something without complications and good challenge (do not forget the point of having your music integrated in the game), this little jewel will make wonders, so the real life of symphony is as long as big is your music library.

The mechanical is quite simple. You choose one song, and then, depending of its characteristics it throws to you to beat (and to strike you down mercilessly) one thing or other, and while you shoot and dodge cool lights you must collect inspiration points which raise your marker and at the same time repair your.... spaceship ?

I bought it just for experimenting and i'm far beyond than pleased with it.
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31 of 37 people (84%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
3.9 hrs on record
Posted: June 15, 2014
Symphony is an example of an interesting concept let down by poor execution.

The idea of a shoot 'em up influenced by your music is a good one, and the plot conceit of fighting to rescue the composers of your music is neat.

Unfortunately, it is let down by basic elements. Gameplay is simply not good. Everything is pretty much the same colour and the screen can get very full. Audiosurf's stark contrasts made for gorgeous visuals. This is just a chaotic mess.

You can unlock and equip a variety of weapons but little information is given about them and the strategy seems to be mostly just holding down the mouse button and moving around.

There doesn't feel like a lot of gameplay difference in the songs. It seems to go from low intensity to high intensity and back with nothing in between, and often not in places you'd expect.

The interface is quite clunky, and so badly designed that in some places text actually overlaps. How that is still happening after multiple patches is beyond me, but it certainly doesn't leave a good impression.

It's not outright awful, and there's some nice ideas in there, but it just hasn't come together.
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