Rytmos review – a tasteful musical mind-teaser
The relationship between rhythm and mathematics is straightforward and yet profound: notes arranged in regular patterns can yield endless variety – works that elicit everything from melancholy to dance. Rytmos imagines each musical phrase as a tiny, discrete world: a cube, in fact, whose six sides each contain a different sonic pattern that, when combined, blossom into a song.
Your task is to activate each of the cube’s sides by solving a puzzle. Each puzzle works in much the same way. Draw a continuous line to describe a maze, connecting each musical note – rendered as towers – on the cube, before arriving back at the beginning to complete the loop. The game allows the line to cross itself, but it can only conclude at the start point. Complete the puzzle and one of the six tracks begins to play. Complete all six sides and you finish the song, which is duly turned into vinyl and added to a crate of virtual records.
It’s an elegant concept, elevated by a striking presentation, and a tasteful soundtrack that draws from an eclectic range of global sounds. One set of cubes celebrates Zimbabwean kalimba (thumb piano) music, another Ethiopian jazz from the 1960s. You’ll find driving rhythms among the 70s German electronica, while the Japanese environmental music stages offer a thoughtful saunter through a whispering forest. Each cube represents a different instrument as well as a genre, and when all sides are solved you’re rewarded with a pixel-art representation, along with some illuminating facts. You’ll also unlock the instrument for “freestyle” play, and can record and store a simple improvisation.
Part chic toy, part interactive museum exhibit, part broadsheet mind-teaser, Rytmos is a sophisticated proposition (the puzzles soon scale in complexity, sometimes lacing around more than one side of the cube at a time), at once tactile and mystical.