PSN In 2011: Dyad
Dyad was one of the most interesting titles that Eric and I saw at PAX East earlier this year, and that wasn’t because of the crazy “Machine” that was at the booth. You can see Eric taking a ride in it at the bottom of this post. Dyad is a fusion of many genres, taking aspects from puzzle, racing, shmup, and even fighting games.
The way you control the particle, your avatar, is where the game takes a departure from traditional racing gameplay. Instead of having a throttle and brake on the controller, you can gain speed by chaining like colored orbs that are in your path. The more you can the faster you go. There are also different colored orbs, while attaching to them will kill your chain, your speed will remain unchanged. If you do happen to run into on of them however, you will slow down. There are ways around this though as you can lance through orbs which will allow you to pass through them with no penalty.
Each level is divided into sectors, which after completion are shown on this nifty results screen. You can see where you need to work on to get a better score and there is even a line showing your average time. I am just a nerd for charts and graphs though, so that is probably why I like it so much. Information like this though does give the game a one-more-go kind of feel to it.
One experience we had with the title at PAX is worth talking about. Eric had the chance to play the game in the Machine, a unique DIY racing seat that Shawn, founder of RBSLBS Games created in his spare time. Think of it as a simulator, with rolling motions that match what you are doing on screen. The mode that Eric was playing started out mellow and desaturated. As he progressed, chaining more and more, the level became colorful, to a point where after 30 chains it looked like a rainbow exploded on the screen. You get into a zen like mood playing the game, but one wrong move and you are snapped back to reality.
Helping keep that zen like mood is the games excellent music. At PAX most of the tracks were provided by Jason Degroot, aka 6955, who some of you may know from listening to Points back in 1UP.com’s heyday. The tracks were kicking and really helped accent what was going on with the visuals on screen. The goal is to have a different track for each level, so now ][ games have a few more people helping out on the soundtrack.