Video Game Soundtracks for Studying (Part 2)
This is the second installment of video game soundtracks to listen to while studying, a list to help students easily find background music while tackling homework or studying for their next brain-racking test.
Broken Age is composed incredibly well. The music encompasses many emotions, from joyful to villainous, and brings out the character’s feelings in the story. Broken Age is an artistic game with a storyline that follows two lead characters, Vella and Shay, as they are thrown into new situations and discover secrets about their lives that they never knew existed. The wide array of musical genres work well with the game, and the two characters each have their own themes and instruments that are used for them, and only them.
YouTube link: https://youtu.be/4IjbF0ZXMzk
My favorite tracks: Face the Cupcakes, Time to Get Up Little Spaceman, Vella’s Mission
Seasons After Fall
Seasons After Fall is a game with a beautiful atmosphere that is complemented by phenomenally composed string music. It is vibrant and carries a dynamic sound that is a rare find in a whole string orchestra. In fact, at 2:06, 7:34, 36:26, 52:12, and 1:05:14, you can watch the musicians perform the tracks Title, Second Nightmare, Creek, Foliage, Horizontal Symbol, Ritual of the Seasons. The composer, Vann Ver Der Cruyssen, was incredibly creative in his use of string instruments, utilizing them in the most effective and brilliant way possible.
YouTube link: https://youtu.be/WKMYF0jHkvA
My favorite tracks: Title, Creek
The reason that Cuphead is revered isn’t the plotline, characters, or even the gameplay. It’s the fact that Cuphead seemingly was plucked from the 1930’s and placed on the shelves in 2017. The music ties in perfectly, including a 13-piece big band, 10-piece ragtime ensemble, a solo pianist, a vocalist, a tap dancer, and more. The energetic and upbeat album is full of eclectic 1930s music is sure to have you bouncing along.
YouTube link: https://youtu.be/aSRHJmNJuQU
My favorite tracks: Introduction, Threatenin’ Zeppelin, Ruse of an Ooze, Floral Fury, Aviary Action, Fiery Frolic
Made by the same person who composed the Monument Valley II soundtrack (read my previous installment of this list for more details), Land’s End is wonderfully subtle, yet splendid music. A majority of the songs are quiet, with soft melodies rising to the surface and then dipping into white noise. Land’s End is a virtual reality game that consists of the player “flying” around and solving puzzles in an aesthetically pleasing atmosphere. This soundtrack fits perfectly with the gameplay and provides the perfect ambiance for flying through your to-do list.
YouTube link: https://soundcloud.com/ustwo-games/sets/lands-end-original-soundtrack
My favorite tracks: The Awakening
The Secret of Monkey Island
There is no easy way to describe the soundtrack to Monkey Island. As a game set in the Caribbean, it definitely carries the swashbuckle feel of a pirates ship. Trumpets, violins, flutes, and more bring an upbeat, exciting atmosphere to the story. Monkey Island creates a new feeling with every song, from pirate shanties to mysterious, dark tracks. You’ll want to leap out of your seat and start dancing!
YouTube link: https://youtu.be/_fj5pIpjS14
My favorite tracks: Introductions, LeChuck’s Theme, Ghost Ship Shuffle
The Sexy Brutale
The Sexy Brutale, despite its name, is a game where the player relives the same day over and over in Groundhog Day like fashion while trying to solve a murder mystery. This soundtrack is filled with contrasting darks and lights, catchy and sullen tunes, but across the board is notable for its beautiful use of orchestral instruments and sounds. Not to mention, the Main Theme is one of my personal favorite soundtrack pieces ever. With an incredibly catchy beat and a wonderful use of the saxophone, it's sure to hook even the most snobby of music enthusiasts.
YouTube link: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLgkdq5xB80hwX6OmdqgVMQB2E1NqPqIjD
My favorite tracks: Main Theme, The Theatre Brutale
Night in the Woods
If you like electronic, groovy, and exciting music, this album is for you. The atmosphere of the soundtrack makes the listener want to get up and dance. Night in the Woods is an indie game focused on exploration, story, and character, with lots to explore across a lush, vibrant world. The music reflects the game, with the hip, dark vibe noticeable throughout the tracks. It’s very well designed, with fantastic percussion beats and great melodies leading the listener through the world of Night in the Woods.
YouTube link: https://youtu.be/IgHcR59tW1g
My favorite tracks: Title Music, Town Part 3, Astral Coal, Greg Maniac, Demon Tower Final Boss, End Credits
Bastion makes you want to groove with energetic guitar beats, strings, and electronic loops. This soundtrack has many layers, utilizing audio production techniques to their fullest. The genre shifts as sporadically as the weather in Central Oregon, from old western to East Asian to modern electronic rock, and back again. Bastion is a game with vibrant colors and exciting battles, and the energy in the soundtrack is aids the player through the journey and it motivates them to beat the boss level.
YouTube link: https://youtu.be/oLA0vB9LCTM
My favorite tracks: A Proper Story, Terminal March, Build That Wall
Despite being 8-bit-style electronic, the Fez soundtrack is quite relaxing. It brings a sense of atmosphere and curiosity to the listener. The game itself is built around the idea of a 2D world becoming 3D, and the player must explore hundreds of floating pixel islands, solving puzzles and unlocking secrets. The melodies in the tracks give the listener a sense of exciting new discoveries and exploration while continuing to allow the player to focus on the puzzles throughout the game’s world.
YouTube link: https://youtu.be/hXfos-mAMMA
My favorite tracks: Adventure, Flow, Glitch, Death, Majesty
The Braid soundtrack brings the beautiful, relaxing sound of string instruments to a time-bending puzzle game. It is hard to resist getting caught in the dynamic melodies throughout the tracks. Braid puts a twist on the modern puzzle game soundtrack by using songs that would fit into a Celtic or medieval ball.
YouTube link: https://youtu.be/TqOVpiXfq0o
My favorite tracks: Downstream, Lullaby Set