A teenaged girl and the vindictive ghost that's possessing her deal with cosmic mysteries and interpersonal struggles in this character-driven narrative-focused horror adventure.
User reviews:
Overall:
Very Positive (201 reviews) - 92% of the 201 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: May 6, 2015

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Includes 2 items: The Moon Sliver, The Music Machine

 

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May 3

'The Grandfather' has been released

The collab project between MPR Art Hallucinations and I--The Grandfather--has been released on Steam:

http://store.steampowered.com/app/433750/

The Grandfather is a strange point and click adventure inspired by surrealist films such as David Lynch's Eraserhead. It follows the story of an old man who is tormented by the coldness of his wife, and wakes up one night to find that his arms, legs, and torso are missing, leaving him a disembodied floating head.

Keep in mind that The Grandfather was designed/directed by MPR Art Hallucinations (creator of The Lady) and simply programmed by me. So expect a much different (much more surreal) experience than you get in my solo horror games.

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Reviews

“Between its interesting duo, unconventional art-style, and absorbing story, The Music Machine is a highly recommended title...”
8/10 – Rely on Horror

“It’s when the two stories diverge from each other that they reach their peaks: the drama and the horror, separate but unyielding, pelting me with empathy and fear in unspoken agreement.”
N/A – Kill Screen Daily

“As usual for anything from this genre it’s not for everyone, it’s not jump scares and gore, but it’s a fantastic story. Unique and quietly unsettling”
9/10 – Bitparade

About This Game

Haley, an eccentric 13 year old girl, has a complicated relationship with her old friend Quintin. He's a ghost now, and he's puppeting her body with the intent of finding a satisfactory way of killing her. This dubious quest has led them to a mysterious abandoned island, where several people were recently murdered. And where, among the rotting cabins and dense trees, a strange new building hides a bizarre secret...

"He met a man an eyeless man a toothless man and he looked at the man and the man looked at him and he saw that the man was beloved and dearest of friends and the man spoke to him 'how long since you've tasted bone marrow' and he told him he told him truthfully and the man said 'come' and he came with the man and they vomited pure cold clean water into the endless eternal infinite sea and then, the end."


FEATURES
  • Blend of non-linear exploration, puzzle solving, and narrative, similar to The Vanishing of Ethan Carter
  • Horror based on an atmosphere and story rather than jumpscares or chase scenes
  • This is not a Unity Asset Store collection. Modeling, music, environments, and programming were done from scratch. Sound effects were manufactured from creative commons samples.
    • Rich storyline that stands on its own, but also expands on the plot of The Moon Sliver
    • Stylish monochromatic visual style that enhances the feeling of mystery and unease
    • Atmospheric original soundtrack (which can be purchased as DLC, or purchased here)
    • A short but satisfying narrative experience that can be completed in one sitting

System Requirements

    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows XP or Higher
    • Processor: Intel i3 or equivalent
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: AMD Radeon 6870 or equivalent
    • DirectX: Version 10
    • Storage: 600 MB available space
Customer reviews
Customer Review system updated! Learn more
Overall:
Very Positive (201 reviews)
Recently Posted
IAmThePonch
1.7 hrs
Posted: August 22
For five bucks you get a visually stunning, surreal adventure with roots in Lovecraft lore. Apparently, this game coincides with another one of the creator's games, The Moon Sliver and is supposed to clear some things up about it. I'd probably have to go back and check it out again to get a really god grasp on it.

Much like David's other games, this is surreal as hell and more about soaking in the atmosphere than challenging gameplay. Which is fair, because the most challenging thing you do in this game is find a way to bust some boards down.

Much like his other games, this has a story that feels written at the level to make you confused but not so much that you don't feel like the answer is right there. It probably requires multiple play throughs to fully grasp.

Regardless, the dynamic between the two characters, Haley and Quintin, is interesting. Haley is a thirteen year old who is posessed by the spirit of Quintin for at first unknown reasons. All we know is that Quintin holds a grudge and is searching for a satisfying way to kill Haley. They have arrived at an island, seeking a murderer who has apparently been pretty busy filling people with holes. It's a strange setup, but one that plays out pretty nicely as it goes on, and eventually deals with some loftier themes.

To say much more would be to spoil a lot of the surprises this game holds. While it may feel a bit obtuse in some of its themes, it's a pretty absorbing adventure while it lasts over its hour and a half- two hour run time. Check it out along with The Moon Sliver.
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Vortiene
1.5 hrs
Posted: August 10
This game essentially boils down to walking to 5-10 points in the world and reading text there. Definitely a walking simulator. The atmosphere is not particularly interesting, the graphics are minecraft-esque if minecraft had 2 colors in its color palette, which does not work well. The story is pretentious and somewhat nonsensical as well. Not really worth the 2 hours you'll spend in it.

It also doesn't have proper controller support. As in, I can map buttons but not sticks. Pretty dumb.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
KJ van Wartberg
1.4 hrs
Posted: August 5
okay, lets get straight to the point.
Do you remember that light-sourcing-thing Dumbledoor used in Harry Potter to catch light and release it whenever needed?
Now imagine this thingy, but instead of sucking in tons of light it catches wind. yep, wind.
And now you imagine North America mid tornado season and someone waving this thing around and sucking in ALL the tornados!
Followed is this action by you being tied to a chair and this particular someone HAMMERS THE GODD*** WINDCATCHER THING FULL OF TORNADOS INTO YOUR HEAD BY USING A INDUSTRIAL PRESSURE-HAMMER AND PUSHING THE RELEASE BUTTON LIKE A MANIAC!!!
this is the amount of mindblow you are going to have.

okay, now more of a serious review [no spoilers]
its not going to be the "Ohhh! Ahhh! Enlightenment! Wisdome!"-kind of mindblow. its going to be a "what the actual f***?" kind of midndblow. The game starts slow, laid back and nice but it gets ... intersting soon. The strange and emotionly strong story is non linear but is going to innerly move you either way. (if you can call it like that. I found 2 different endings, tho I feel like I missed a thing or two) and is develops alot throuout the game as you follow stunningly real appearing dialoge (considering the way they speak).
non horror-game players, like me, might not like a certain part at first, but in the end it was one of the most refreshing moments I had the last few days, if not weeks.
tl;dr: its a good game, nice visual concept , awesome sound atmosphere, touching story, even tho you wouldnt expect it to be that good, as you play the first few minutes.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Revanchist
2.3 hrs
Posted: August 3
Walking simulator, that actually makes you feel good when exploring the world. Short and sweet like ice cream after dinner.
9/10
Helpful? Yes No Funny
BIG BOSS
2.3 hrs
Posted: July 23
Honestly, best thing I ever bought for $1.
The relationship between the two is interesting. You don't know why you are there, why things are happening, and why things are said. Simple graphics got something... I don't know
A cool short story.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
AigisABC
2.0 hrs
Posted: July 18
Beautiful game full of exploration, it feels very lonely at times, but that is a feeling that really makes the game feel unique and interesting. The story is interesting, the areas are interesting, the sound is excellent, this game is very much worth playing.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Makgayla
9.7 hrs
Posted: July 13
Really short inde horror game that I enjoyed to the fullest. The moment I was thrown into the oddly shaded/bright orange forest my ♥♥♥♥ did not unclench until the 45 minute roller coaster was over. (It was clenched in fear btw there's nothing I need to see a doctor about) Szymanski, just as in the moon sliver, throws you into another one of his little worlds and allows you to meet an interesting set of characters that may or may not make you s u p e r u n c o m f o r t a b l e. That's all part of the fun, right? This time I have to admit is better than his first. I don't want to speak to soon before he realeases something absolutely brilliant but I feel like this game is his magnum opus. If you like odd inde horror games: give it a go. ^^
Helpful? Yes No Funny
HexiibTheDuk
3.8 hrs
Posted: July 12
The art style of this game is really unique. It pulls you into a really creepy world, but you almost don't want to leave. You play as a young girl that is possesed by a ghost. To prevent myself from spoiling anything; I'm going to say that this game uses a unique system to uncover the mystery of why everything is as it is. Exploration and detective work is key to figuring out what is happening. If you like a game that makes you think, I highly recommend this game.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
C҉r҉o҉o҉k҉e҉d҉ ҉M҉a҉n
6.1 hrs
Posted: July 11
This game is absolutley beautiful. I kid you not this game's dioluoge did bore me for the first 15 minutes (Because I just didn't understand till I got farther into the game). But it all changed once I progressed throughtout the story. It puts you in a constant state of surrow, fear, and some humor as well. It doesn't only have an amazing soundtrack but also the art is one of the key parts of why this game is amazing.
Pros:
-Amazing art
-Touching story
-Very amazing Soundtrack
-Humor
-Some spooky stuff later in the game
-Look at the price (I got it for 2 bucks)
-Markiplier referense...
Cons:
-Many players get confused and never see the acutal ending to this game because they followed the code guides which can acutally confuse and spoil the game for you (YOU WILL UNDERSTAND WHAT I'M SAYING IF YOU BUY THIS GAME AND GET STUCK ON THIS PART). Please know that if you follow this guide you will only just see the other parts of this game which will never take you to the end.
-Very, and I mean very, few bugs(Only ended up walking into one).

I rate the game with complete honesty an 10/10
P.S. If you find Tiny Box Tim congratulations.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
M3OW
0.8 hrs
Posted: July 10
A few techincal issues, but still worthwhile for the story and the art style.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
Recommended
1.4 hrs on record
Posted: August 5
okay, lets get straight to the point.
Do you remember that light-sourcing-thing Dumbledoor used in Harry Potter to catch light and release it whenever needed?
Now imagine this thingy, but instead of sucking in tons of light it catches wind. yep, wind.
And now you imagine North America mid tornado season and someone waving this thing around and sucking in ALL the tornados!
Followed is this action by you being tied to a chair and this particular someone HAMMERS THE GODD*** WINDCATCHER THING FULL OF TORNADOS INTO YOUR HEAD BY USING A INDUSTRIAL PRESSURE-HAMMER AND PUSHING THE RELEASE BUTTON LIKE A MANIAC!!!
this is the amount of mindblow you are going to have.

okay, now more of a serious review [no spoilers]
its not going to be the "Ohhh! Ahhh! Enlightenment! Wisdome!"-kind of mindblow. its going to be a "what the actual f***?" kind of midndblow. The game starts slow, laid back and nice but it gets ... intersting soon. The strange and emotionly strong story is non linear but is going to innerly move you either way. (if you can call it like that. I found 2 different endings, tho I feel like I missed a thing or two) and is develops alot throuout the game as you follow stunningly real appearing dialoge (considering the way they speak).
non horror-game players, like me, might not like a certain part at first, but in the end it was one of the most refreshing moments I had the last few days, if not weeks.
tl;dr: its a good game, nice visual concept , awesome sound atmosphere, touching story, even tho you wouldnt expect it to be that good, as you play the first few minutes.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
68 of 76 people (89%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
4.8 hrs on record
Posted: May 19, 2015
The Music Machine is a pyschological horror walking simulator with a heavy emphasis exploration in the forms of exploring the game world and exploring the narration of the game.

In this game you play as a 13 year old girl named Hayley, who is currently posessed by the ghost of an older man named Quintin, who is trying to find a satisfactory way to kill Hayley for causing his untimely death. You start on an island where multiple people have been murdered recently, banter back and forth for a while, and then explore and uncover the secrets of the island, as well as uncover the secrets that lay beyond the island.

To be honest, I didn't know what I would expect from this game and throughout the game I was surprised by quite a lot of things. I experienced a lot of feelings of discomfort, tension, and the sense of unsettlement... and at times was creeped out and overwhelmed by how intensely I felt these feelings. I was also surprised at the fact the game explores the issue of the damage that false accusations can cause. At one point, I didnt know if I would be able to keep playing because of the feelings I felt. This, to me, is a lot better than the other genres of horror games, to me this is REAL horror.

Pros:
+The two tone colorization of the graphics add a lot of this unsettling, almost bleak aura that permeates throughout the entire game. However, is also adds a lot of frustration when trying to identify items of interest.

+The Music Machine has a very beautiful, but haunting soundtrack, that when mixed with the subject of the game, and the style of graphics, adds a lot more depth to the game. The music itself is not overpowering in any way and helps add immersion for me.

+This "walking simulator" has a sprint button. I state this because movement at times can be very slow, and the sprint option gives this a step up from other walking simulator style games.

+The game has a save feature, that while being clunky at best, is another step up from previous titles by the developer. I would like to note that towards the end of the game the save feature would not function properly for me. However, you can easilly get by with not saving the game due to its length.

+The premise and subject of the game, to me, are very unique. The subject of false accusations is something that is not touched often, and this game explores that subject in such a way that it makes you think for a while.

+The game has puzzles, and though they aren't challenging, are very fun and work well with the game. It is very refreshing to see a game developer to blend two game types and execute it in a way that functions very well.

Cons
-There are some minor grammar and spelling errors that I saw right away in the opening dialogue. This to me was very disappointing, since this is a narrative driven game.
-There is no voiced commentary, you are stuck reading everything. While this isn't particularly important to me, I know that some people do not enjoy reading as much as I do.
-I didn't feel a strong emotional connection to the two characters right away, and at times I thought their relationship was very odd, and not in a good way. I only started feeling a stronger connection to them as characters as the game progressed. I also feel that their backgrounds could have been expanded upon more, as there were quite a few things I found interesting about them.

Neutral
This game is very short, taking such little time to complete, depending on how much the person explores. However, I feel the price for this game is very agreeable because it has some of replay potential in it and it is such a unique game that has not been disappointing to me.

Final Thoughts
This game has been a very pleasant surprise to me, and while it has some minor flaws, has been one of the best psychological horror games that I have played in a very long time. It has a very interesting premise, graphics and an atmosphere that stand out from other games within the genre, and was clearly made with care. I would have no problem recommending this to anyone who enjoyed horror AND walking simulator games. I am rating this an 8/10.
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77 of 94 people (82%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Recommended
3.8 hrs on record
Posted: June 29, 2015
So the title may confuse you because in fact it's a horror adventure not a music game. We discover lands of some mystery island and we are not alone in here. I don't want to spoil to much, but actually there are 2 persons, at first it seems strange, but every new conversation gives a little bit explanation to the whole storyline. The visual style is unique - it uses 2 colors only. Surreal atmosphere and decent story make this a nice horror like adventure.
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50 of 53 people (94%) found this review helpful
Recommended
3.0 hrs on record
Posted: October 12, 2015
"'I know what is true' says Hector, and what is truth besides? Merely the whim of rulers." - Roger

"Loneliness is growing up and listing your barber as an emergency contact." - Quintin

The Music Machine is the sibling game to go alongside with The Moon Sliver, David Szymanski's previous game. Combined together, they form a most beautiful, sorrowful yet elegant story. When I finished The Moon Sliver, I felt a bit blinded to a deeper truth behind the happenings of the game. After I played The Music Machine, everything falls into its intended place to portray a scene that I won't soon forget.

As the game starts, our "characters" arrive a forested island on a day break. We meet Haley and Quintin, the 13 year old girl and the 34 year old vengeful ghost that possessed Haley's body to find a satisfactory method of killing her. We soon find out that Quintin dragged Haley there to go after a murderer with conflicting ideas in mind. We start exploring the island while witnessing their exchanged dialogues. The more we explore, the more we learn about them, and the truth of this beautiful yet uncanny island. Suffice to say - to avoid major spoilers - something's really off, maybe something beyond human comprehension.

The whole game is designed in Unity engine, with the sole usage of monochromatic scenes: the contrast of a single lush color over black shadows, and voila! I present you the most beautiful, strong and eerie atmosphere ever! Forged with a fleetingly eerie narrative and accompanied with thrilling background sounds and music, The Music Machine promises a sublime experience for 2 hours. The scenes that we encounter feel right out of a strong acid trip, with cosmological symbolisms under. Details within worlds are crafted to be wondrously allegoric, as mental associations of the human mind with an alien interpretation. If this is not art, I do not know what it could be.

The character contrasts between Haley and Quintin are done masterfully, if I may say. Their perceptions, expectations and world view are presented as sharp conflicts in written dialogue with nuances so tender, even though there is neither voice acting, nor visual character design - since this is a first person camera game - they come alive as characters. This is incredibly hard to accomplish since there is nothing else beside a written narrative to enact them. You suddenly find yourself worrying for Haley, or wishing the best for Quintin.

Let's talk about the gameplay. It takes the tried tradition of WASD and your mouse, nothing complicated. There are some very basic puzzles and a story for you to witness. There is no actual combat element common in horror games. Only an elaborate narrative and exploration, so yes, it can be categorized as a walking simulation with some adventure elements. The horror of the game is carefully crafted with an atmospheric expectancy of "something ominous about to happen", and yes, the ominous happens... Don't worry, the game saves your progress automatically when you quit.

For 2 hours, The Music Machine invites you to take seat, and ask questions. Ask about religion, about society, about morality, about dynamics of power for men, and creatures beyond. What is creation? What is beauty? What means to be alive? I bet you already have your own ideas anyhow, but you might get surprised on what this gem has to offer you.

Please also check out Lady Storyteller's Curator page here - follow for regular updates on reviews for other games!
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22 of 24 people (92%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
3.2 hrs on record
Posted: May 28, 2015
One Sentence Summary:
A visually unique first-person adventure with excellent atmosphere, though a bit rough around the edges.

Strengths:
+ Striking monochromatic visual design and thematic use of colors works well and is very fitting within the context of the narrative

+ Excellent atmosphere with several spine-tingling moments that will engage those with strong imaginations

+ Refreshingly original relationship dynamic and interplay between the two main characters

+ Minimalist ambient music is nicely incorporated and pairs well with the tone of the game

Weaknesses:
- The pacing and direction of the game is a bit uneven, especially in the beginning where one may feel lost/frustrated about game mechanics and purpose

- Some areas of the game interface and controls could use a bit more polish, such as:

- The inventory menu is ugly and feels roughed-in

- The user must hold down the left-click button in order to see if an object is interactable or not, which makes it easy to miss things

- The "add item to inventory" sound effect is too loud and as such feels incongruent with the rest of the game's atmosphere

- Standard save feature with slots is missing, and quitting the game without using the in-game menu option causes progress to be lost. (at the time of this review, the developer has said they will look into implementing a more robust save feature)
[/list]


Notes:
~ Some small animations and dynamic lighting like the tree leaves swaying in the wind and the sunshine when outdoors are nice subtle touches making the place feel more alive. Some of the other areas could have used a little more dynamism like this to make the game really shine.

~ A run button is included, which I feel is important to have in exploratory first-person adventures, but I think she could run a little faster. :)
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29 of 39 people (74%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Recommended
2.8 hrs on record
Posted: May 6, 2015
Thrown into a monochromatic-like world and seemingly stranded on a deserted island, you get introduced a young girl named Hailey and the voice in her head, a 33yo man seeking both knowledge and revenge. The Music Machine is not a game for everyone. Some might call it a 'walking sim' but it does tell an interesting and rather confronting story that touches base on family matters, religion and philosophy.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8d0zwvfQqOY
Game is quite short but really up to the player how much time they spend exploring. A full playthrough could be done in around an hour but personally I loaded the game straight back up after finishing and found several areas I had missed which expanded upon my first run and tied up some loose ends. Will not go into the details as that would spoil all the fun. If you are familiar with the developers previous work 'The Moon Sliver' you should know what to expect, stark imagery, atmospheric soundtrack and slowly unravelling plotline. With that said it is more directed with less reading involved and far better visuals imo.

Would like to mention it's not a horror game with jump scares, nonstop action or much that would probably shock you but it is somewhat thought provoking and you can tell it's a Iabour of love. Enjoyed my time spent playing and I can recommend checking it out if you take into consideration what I mentioned above. Cheers folks. :)
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17 of 18 people (94%) found this review helpful
Recommended
5.3 hrs on record
Posted: August 11, 2015
Well, this is the third game by the developer of Fingerbone and The Moon Sliver, definitely set in the same world as the latter based on the religious scripts found in game regarding the worlds mythos. This was by far the best effort yet. The story itself was engaging and had two obvious layers (the possessed girl and the worlds mythos itself) with a lot of subtext regarding forgiveness and redemption.

The world was beautiful. Stunning even. Talk about maximizing the effect through minimalism! The colors and the images were truly evocative.

The gameplay was similar to the prior two games in that you move around using the mouse and WASD, and interact via mouseclicks, but with the added feature of actually being able to use a couple items within the scope of the game.

The story was stellar IMO. Again, a minimalist approach thhat really spurs the imagination.

All told, I think it took me about two actual hours to complete the game, including going back to check out the Easter Egg that was presented in the end game credits, which was very nice.

9 portals leading to realms of false creation out of 10
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15 of 15 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
2.3 hrs on record
Posted: May 9
Stylish, atmospheric, wouldn't call it spooky, but it's quite depressing though
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
14 of 17 people (82%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Recommended
3.0 hrs on record
Posted: June 23, 2015
Short, creepy, very WTFesque game.
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9 of 9 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
3.8 hrs on record
Posted: November 3, 2015
Bravo, David Szymanski! I loved this weird game and I do recommend experiencing it. It’s definitely not for everyone and it is more of “an experience” than “a game”.
Story is sad and beautiful. Visuals are… interesting.
Game is 1-2 hours long so I don't want to spoil anything by going into details. Just make sure that you get to the very end. There is a “good” ending and a “bad” ending.
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