Blame it on the weather, man.
Symphony of the Machine is a narrative-free, meditative, weather-bending, spatial puzzle game from Stirfire Studios. In this virtual reality game you find yourself alone in a desolate and sweltering desert. The only signs of life are the cave art drawings that guide you towards a mysterious tower that looms ominously in front of you. These drawings appear to depict the weather and a beam of light, which offer clues as to what to expect at the top of the tower.
The tower is a giant weather machine that lets you manipulate rain, sun, cloud and wind glyphs to control the weather. With the help of a robot you get to inspire new life in potted plants to flourish as you use a variety of tools to split, filter and direct a laser beam towards the four different glyphs to create weather patterns likes rainbows, double rainbows, wind, rain and snow. The weather you need to create at a given time is indicated by the robot.
To start off it’s all simple; use the mirror to direct the beam to a single glyph, then the next glyph and then the next. Each correct pattern will make the plant grow and after the first plant is fully grown the challenge ramps up. This is because the plants from then on require multiple glyphs to be lit at once. This is where you use the splitters and mirrors to divide and reflect the beam. Additionally each glyph you light up creates a barrier blocking others which prevents you taking the direct path. Top tip – the robot can carry objects for you and it will follow you around.
To be a great weather-bender you can arm yourself with either the DS4 or a Move controller. I tried both control options and the Move controller definitely provides the best experience, the way you physically hold the Move controller makes grabbing and moving the simulated VR objects easier. Navigating around the playing area is handled via teleporting and using snap turns for refinement.
Once you have completed the story you’ll unlock sandbox mode. This is a continuation of the main game and adds a bit of longevity to the game. It also gives you the chance to clean up on any of the trophies you might have missed. Speaking of trophies there are thirteen to pop and most of them you will naturally obtain as you try to create the different weather patterns.
Graphically Symphony of the Machine looks fantastic; the different weather effects look particularly good against the barren backdrop of the landscape that surrounds the tower. This is complimented with a soothing and sombre orchestral soundtrack.
Symphony of the Machine is a simple puzzle game that is presented in a beautiful, almost artistic way. The visuals and the music make it a great virtual reality experience. The only downside is that you’ll probably complete the game in one sitting as it only takes a few hours to get through which is the standard for most PlayStation VR titles.
NelMaNo Rating – 7/10
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