Lost In Harmony
Nintendo Switch

Reviewed by Brett

Publisher – Plug In Digital
Developer – Digixart / Midgar Studio
Music – Various
Category – Music, Rhythm, Runner, Adventure, Arcade
Release Date – June 21, 2018

 

Lost In Harmony, Found in emotion

Lost In Harmony from Plug In Digital, Digixart and Midgar Studio is a unique hybrid of a runner style game and a music/rhythm game. What i did not expect to find in this title was a story full of emotion that would touch me and keep me hanging on the edge of my seat.

Story

For a game in the runner or music/rhythm genre it is not unusual for there to be little to no story, but in the case of Lost In Harmony I found it to be surprisingly one of the games strongest selling points and Lost In Harmony features two different story lines to boot, Both filled with more emotion than i could have ever expected.

Kaito’s Adventure is the first of the stories i that i tried, it deals with love, heartache, loss, depression, longing, denial and hope. Without giving too much away the story revolves around Kaito and his friend/girlfriend Aya, her deteriorating health condition and the strong bond between the two. The story is told through text message conversations between Kaito and Aya and then moves into a dreamworld where the two characters skate towards or away from feelings that plague Kaitos every sleeping moment.

M.I.R.A.I.’S escape is the second story i played through. It centers around the robot named Mirai who was created by an alien race. It was sentenced to be decommissioned and being sentient and none to thrilled about this decision, breaks free from its creators. Mirai lands on earth where he is simultaneously loved and feared by humanity and continuously pursued by his alien creators. Mirai’s story is not quite as powerful as Kaito’s but is still filled with a surprising amount of emotion. Mirai just wants to live, to be understood, to find acceptance, ever running towards finding his place in the universe.

Gameplay

You start of before every stage with some dialogue so setup the upcoming stage, once the story section is complete you will go to the level selection where you can choose between normal and hard settings for each stage. Normal gameplay is fairly challenging and while i only failed one stage in my entire play through of both story lines I would recommend playing on normal you first go around as the challenge does amp up quite a bit on the hard setting. Here you can also apply unlock-able cosmetics  like hats, shirts and skateboards.

Once you enter a stage you will find yourself on your skate board or unlock-able hover board. Your objective is to outrun and escape the danger all around you and rack up points while doing so. Your character will automatically move towards the screen, so as far as character movement goes you only need to worry about moving left and right to avoid obstacles and danger that encroaches from all angels and jumping over obstacles that approach from the front. There is also “stardust” on the track that when skated over nets you points and three collectibles to obtain on each level and each difficulty.  Add on top of the the music/rhythm portion. As your doing everything else A, B, Y and X buttons will float from left to right and as they reach the right you must hit the corresponding button in time to gain more points, the closer you hit the button to when it reaches the marked are the more points you will gain.

At the end of the level points are tallied based on stardust collected, buttons hit and missed, levels of how close they where hit and pick ups collected. This is all escalated while playing on the hard difficulty. There will be many more buttons to hit or miss, more stardust and more obstacles to negatively effect your performance. Game play is the same on both stories and you are judged in the same manner, the only difference is the pre game play narrative and the way its laid out and of course the characters.

 

Presentation

Lost In Harmony has a beautiful hand drawn/painted style that works wonderfully. Environments move and react to the music almost like a pop up book. Each level is alive and a real treat to take in. Occasionally this would even negatively affect my performance because i was staring at the art instead of focusing on racking up points, good thing playing levels again is a treat and not a punishment.

The Music and sounds in Lost In Harmony is simply fantastic, it’s loaded with classical and modern music and combinations of the two with remixes of familiar old school classical bangers. The sound always follows the action of the levels with beats dropping as environmental objects slam into the level and when jumps approach among other things. It always intensifies and amplifies  the action on the screen and works so well in tandem with the game play. The two stories feature their own separate artwork and scores with Mirai’s story featuring more modern offerings.

Verdict

I was amazed by Lost In Harmony. I may not have played every runner on the market but this is now in fact my favorite runner ever. Never did i expect for a game like this to have such an emotional story that would touch my heart but that’s exactly what i got. Add to that delightful artwork and an exceptional soundtrack that permeates every aspect of the game and what you get is an absolutely fantastic game that simply must be experienced. It’s priced insanely cheap and is one of my favorite games this year. There is zero reason not to buy this game, experience it for yourself you wont regret it.

5/5

Buy Lost In Harmony

$12.99

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