09 IGF Winner for Excellence in Design
Musaic Box marries a conventionally tedious hidden object (i.e., "hunt the pixel") game with an original and engaging tile puzzle game tied to music.
First, the hidden object part; to do one of the music puzzles, you must find one or more "pieces of the score" hidden in the image of an on-screen room. Once you have all the pieces, you can play the puzzle. Conventional, and dull; the ostensible story is that your grandfather, who owns the magical music box that plays these tunes, is mysteriously not around and has hidden the bits; the house is appointed with music-related artifacts in an old-school mahogany and brass style, playing into the retro-nostalgic sensibility of so many 'casual' games.
On the music puzzle screen, you may click the bottom 'roller' to hear one melodic line (represented by red tile sections on the puzzle pieces), and must then arrange the puzzle pieces within the central area so that this melodic line plays in the correct sequence. Some puzzle pieces may not contain any part of that melodic line, and instead play some bits from one of the other three instruments in the song; each instrument is represented by a different color, and the rule is that a column may not contain more than one tile segment for a single instrument (since an instrument can't play 'twice' at the same time).
Once the puzzle is assembled, the complete tune plays. All tunes are, not surprising, in the public domain, presumably to avoid legal issues; the developers are
Ukrainian Russian, and one assumes that the game was created on a budget.
It's mildly entertaining, and at least more original than most of the bumf that gets sold into the casual game market. One word of warning, however; as far as I know, it's available only through BigFish at the moment, which has the following drawbacks: 1) The BigFish downloader is amazing slow, so this 70 meg app will take quite a long time to download, regardless of your bandwidth; and 2) you must read the damn installation options carefully to avoid being spammed by them and having unwanted clutter show up in your system tray.