You have not felt true satisfaction until you have jumped off a building to the rhythm of He Lives in You from The Lion King musical original soundtrack. Honestly, it’s to die for.
Melody’s Escape is a rhythm game where you play as a girl who runs endlessly from the left side of your screen to the right side of your screen; presumably her name is Melody and presumably she is escaping something. To help Melody avoid obstacles, leap from tall structures, and occasionally fly, you need to press a selection of colour and arrow keys as she runs over symbols in time to the sick beats that are playing.
The game comes with a selection of catchy in-built tunes and I would have enjoyed the vibrant colours and satisfying animations of the game even if these songs were the only options; however, the true highlight of Melody’s Escape is that you can import your own music and, using wizardry, the game will create levels based on it.
Ever wanted to start flying when the best part of your favourite song kicks in? Now you can. Ever been out jogging and tried to time your pace to the beat of whatever track is playing? Now you don’t even have to leave the house to run flawlessly to that bassline.
Although there are a few negative reviews on Steam indicating that the game doesn’t create perfect levels for every song, I’ve found the conversion to be near-perfect for almost every track I’ve tried. The game does seem to have some issues with particularly fast beats, as though it can’t quite figure out where to put obstacles, so if you are the masochistic type in rhythm games (I’m looking at you Dragonforce – Through the Fire and Flames lovers) you might be slightly disappointed.
There are a number of difficulty levels depending on how hard you want to think (and how good your rhythm is) and even a mode called ‘autoplay’, which works as a visualiser if you want your next party to be graced by Melody’s awesome hairstyles and outfits while you listen to your favourite playlist.
The range of difficulty levels means I can use Melody’s Escape both as a rewarding challenge and as a relaxing mindfulness tool, depending on my needs on any given day. If you are the type of person who finds rhythm games to be a helpful antidote to anxiety (as I do), you’ll love being able to import your anxiety-fighting songs and play along to them.
As if I needed more reason to love a rhythm simulator where you can play along to your own music, Melody’s Escape also has some great customisation. You can change your hairstyle, outfit, and the colour scheme of the levels. Each outfit comes with an ‘inverted’ version, so you can be a dark-skinned girl with a light outfit or a pale-skinned girl with a dark outfit, depending on your preference.
And—we need to appreciate the little things in the fight for diverse representation—Melody is dark-skinned by default.
Overall, Melody’s Escape is a rhythm game that does rhythm well, allowing you to play along to your favourite songs while making you feel like an epic free-runner who can also fly.
Music: 10/10 (because my playlists are amazing)
Everything else: I have plans to play it again