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18 December, 2016

Symphony of the Machine Announced for PSVR

Stirfire Studios' Symphony of the Machine was already revealed for the HTC Vive, but we can confirm the title is also heading to PS4 and the PlayStation VR.

Australian developer Stirfire Studios, who is best known for the great vertical platformer Freedom Fall, is working on a great puzzle game for virtual reality formats. In an apocalyptic world, you are given the opportunity to bring life back to the desolate landscape. You stand in a tower built by some ancient civilization, and by manipulating the beam of light that travels through its centre, you can solve puzzles to control the weather. The further you progress, the more items you unlock to help you guide the light into locations around the tower.

I played the game on an HTC Vive, and found it quite enjoyable. There is little hand-holding, which leads to a great sense of reward as you figure out how each item can alter the course of the beam, and the opportunities that opens up. Especially as you conceive of new combinations of items. Using the now standard point and press to transport technique for movement, I was impressed by how accurately you could interact with the world. Picking up items in each hand, and rotating them, feels incredibly natural. And while everything unfolds in a small, contained playing space, the variations I saw in the weather help spice things up.

After playing the game, I got chatting to managing director Vee Pendergrast, and the topic soon turned to her passion for accessibility in gaming. She sees VR as a big opportunity to expand what is possible, so I took the chance to interview her for further insights. During that interview, she confirmed that the game is also coming to PSVR, stating:

"The PSVR is certainly building up to be the most accessible device that meets our requirements from a price perspective. For the PSVR version, we adjusted the game for seated play, which is of course part of the Sony experience, but we were also very conscious about how this affected the movement and positioning available in-game."

A release date is set for Q1 2017, but we will keep you posted on an exact date.

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