Digital December: Spotlight on Materia Community

The very first Materia-related project was a tribute album to Final Fantasy VII created by musicians from around the world. That core group grew into what we now call Materia Community, which is exactly what it sounds like — a community of musicians who continue to support each other, learn from each other, and collaborate on projects today. Community albums often involve dozens or even hundreds of musicians and arrangers bringing their favorite game soundtracks to life in new and exciting ways.

Read on for a selection of Materia Community albums from over the years. These are a treat for any true fan; each album takes a deep dive into the soundtrack of its focal game or theme, revisiting favorite songs in a wide range of genres while still remaining a cohesive whole.

(And if you’d like to add any of these albums to your collection this December, use the code dd2020 on our Bandcamp all month long for 15% off any digital purchase.)


MATERIA: Final Fantasy VII Remixed album cover art

MATERIA is where it all began in 2015, and it set the tone for what was to come: nearly two hundred artists, 87 tracks, an amalgamation of styles, and deep love for its source material. The success of MATERIA led to the creation of dozens more community albums (you’ll see some of them below), as well as everything else in the Materia Music family. Most importantly, it led to the formation of a strong community of excellent musicians and people, one that persists to this day. Listening back to this album, we can hear how far we’ve all come — and we hope you’ll enjoy this glimpse into our past.

Best for: JRPG lovers, from the retro PSX-era original to anyone who recently enjoyed Final Fantasy VII Remake; anyone interested in owning a piece of VGM history

Listen to MATERIA: Final Fantasy VII Remixed >>


FALLEN: An UNDERTALE Tribute album cover art

When it was released in 2015, UNDERTALE shook the indie game world and became an instant modern classic. Its subversion of classic RPG tropes combined with its heart-on-sleeve storytelling endeared it to gamers of all stripes, and its developer, Toby Fox, composed an accompanying score for the ages. Materia Community’s FALLEN captures the intensity of UNDERTALE fan fervor in 97 tracks of all genres and styles, from classical to experimental, from ska to big-band to fully orchestral. Like an extended concept album, FALLEN is divided into seven “discs,” one for each UNDERTALE soul (from Patience to Determination) representing an individual journey through the game’s story.

Best for: UNDERTALE lovers young and old; fans of good music who want a ton of variety in a single album

Listen to FALLEN: An UNDERTALE Tribute >>


Zodiac: Final Fantasy Tactics Remixed album cover art

Those who sing the praises of Final Fantasy Tactics do so deservedly. Its gameplay and story were unlike any Final Fantasy preceding it, and its heady political machinations and in-depth strategy keep it a standout today. Composer Hitoshi Sakimoto is a favorite among video game musicians; he may not have the instant name recognition of Yasunori Mitsuda or Nobuo Uematsu, but his stirring and sophisticated score is part of what makes Tactics so outstanding. ZODIAC contributes nearly four hours of music in every imaginable style. From metal to musical theater to tavern ballads, Zodiac speaks to the love Materia Community members have for this classic score.

Best for: RPG or strategy game lovers, fans of political intrigue, musical omnivores

Listen to ZODIAC: Final Fantasy Tactics Remixed >>


Tesseract: An Acoustic Fez Album cover art

The Fez original soundtrack is quintessential Disasterpeace: retro chiptune made dense, complex, and lush. It’s a musician’s album, showing off the many talents of a master of chiptune composition. But members of Materia Community wondered what it would sound like to reimagine this strictly digital soundtrack on acoustic instruments, and that’s exactly what TESSERACT does. The many live instrumentalists credited on TESSERACT infuse Fez’s 8-bit texture with startling warmth, breathing life into an intricate digital world. It’s like seeing a black-and-white outline suddenly take on color.

Best for: instrumentalists, fans of acoustic performance, anyone who makes their own music (or enjoys it when others do)

Listen to TESSERACT: An Acoustic Fez Album >>

LAUNCH: StarCraft Reimagined

LAUNCH: StarCraft Reimagined album cover art

Since its debut in 1996, the StarCraft franchise has inspired a generation of devotees to strategize for hours at a time with their friends and rivals. The music has to stand up to such long play sessions, and it does so through incredible variety, with many tracks almost sounding like medleys so that the music never gets old. That variety and versatility is reflected in LAUNCH: StarCraft Reimagined, conceived as a trio of EPs that each pay homage to one of the three playable species: RUSH is driving and energetic in honor of the Zerg, VOID is acoustic and organic like the Protoss, and NUKE represents the retro, groove-oriented Terrans.

Best for: Fans of real-time strategy; sci-fi aficionados; listeners with eclectic taste but a particular love of retro and high-energy music

Listen to LAUNCH: StarCraft Reimagined >>

FATE: A Tribute to Majora’s Mask

FATE: A Tribute to Majora's Mask album cover art

The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask is something of a dark horse: misunderstood initially, it has since claimed its rightful place among the best of the Zelda canon. Listening through this album, it’s clear the emotions the game inspired were never in doubt. Like the game and soundtrack that inspired it, it’s sometimes beautiful, sometimes unsettling. From the goofy (Patrick Dunnevant’s a cappella Gorons) to the divine (the Triforce Quartet’s Song of Healing) to the epic and terrifying (Fredrik Häthén’s Termina’s Last Hope), FATE captures the many faces of Majora’s Mask with aplomb.

Best for: Zelda lovers; fans of instrumental music; anyone with a quirky, offbeat sense of humor

Listen to FATE: A Tribute to Majora’s Mask >>

EIDOLON: A Tribute to Final Fantasy IX

EIDOLON: A Tribute to Final Fantasy IX album cover art

Materia Community took its name and inspiration from a Final Fantasy game and continues to hold special love for the series. In keeping with Final Fantasy IX’s themes of friendship and cooperation, each track was created by multiple Community members, many of them working together for the first time. The resulting album is incredibly innovative, featuring things like authentic Renaissance counterpoint, an ocarina septet, and arguably EIDOLON‘s crown jewel: a fully dramatized, four-track musical theater reenactment of the entire play-within-a-game I Want To Be Your Canary.

Best for: Final Fantasy fans, lovers of classic high fantasy or early music, people delighted by creative reinterpretation

Listen to EIDOLON: A Tribute to Final Fantasy IX >>

EXILE: A Tribute to Supergiant Games

EXILE: A Tribute to Supergiant Games album cover art

Supergiant’s pre-Hades oeuvre is no less brilliant than its 2020 Game of the Year contender, and the studio’s composer, Darren Korb, is an integral part of its success. Like the games, his scores traverse genres from trip-hop to country western, unified by their emotional core and Ashley Barrett’s soulful voice. EXILE stretches that palette in this album of arrangements from Bastion, Pyre, and Transistor. As befits any tribute to Supergiant soundtracks, the vocal talent on EXILE is a particular highlight — this is an album for you if you want to hear the singers of Materia Community (including Laura Intravia, Darby Cupit, Sirenstar, and many more) at their best.

Best for: fans of Hades and/or the rest of Supergiant’s brilliant games; appreciators of vocal music

Listen to EXILE: A Tribute to Supergiant Games >>

EPOCH: A Tribute to Chrono Trigger

Epoch: A Tribute to Chrono Trigger album cover art

Yasunori Mitsuda’s Chrono Trigger soundtrack is an undisputed classic of gaming history. Its innovation and beauty have inspired generations of musicians, including many current video game composers who got their start as young fan musicians. EPOCH‘s producers iterate on perfection by assigning a single OST track to each arranger and presenting them in their original order. The end result covers the entire Chrono Trigger soundtrack, but even those who know the original by heart will be surprised and delighted by what they encounter. For an introduction, try Videri String Quartet’s “Memories of Green,” insaneintherain’s “The Day The World Revived,” Hassan DuRant’s powerfully unsettling “The Summoning Circle,” and John Robert Matz’s sly music-theater rendition of The Trial.

Best for: Yasunori Mitsuda fans; lovers of the classics who like to hear a new take on old favorites

Listen to EPOCH: A Tribute to Chrono Trigger >>

MENU: An Homage to Game Title Themes

MENU: An Homage to Game Title Themes album cover art

Gamers inevitably get attached to main menu themes — after all, they’re the first thing we hear on booting up a beloved classic. That was the inspiration for MENU, which is a rare Materia Community album featuring music from many different games across genres and eras. This album of title theme arrangements leaps from Katamari to Kirby to Doki Doki Literature Club and beyond. The stylistic range is similarly wide: a lush symphony for Stardew Valley, big band for Mario Kart 64, even bluegrass for Assassin’s Creed IV. No matter the genre, it’s clear that each track is an expression of nostalgia and love.

Best for: Lifelong gamers; those looking for remixes of AAA tracks and/or obscure indie tracks (some games on this album are real underrepresented gems!)

Listen to MENU: An Homage to Game Title Themes >>

FLAMESGRACE: A Tribute to Octopath Traveler

Flamesgrace: A Tribute to Octopath Traveler album cover art

Octopath Traveler’s acclaimed soundtrack was the perfect choice for a Materia Community album: like the game’s eponymous eight routes, the arrangements exhibit an incredible range of genres and styles that come together into something more than the sum of their parts. For FLAMESGRACE, Community members were encouraged to team up and collaborate, forging new friendships as they inspired each other to try bold new ideas. Live instruments throughout the album recreate the classical-folk flavor of the original, with some tracks expanding into jazz combos, brass ensembles, and full choir. With the variety on display, there’s sure to be something for everyone here.

Best for: Classic JRPG fans, people with truly eclectic musical taste, acoustic music-lovers

Listen to FLAMESGRACE: A Tribute to Octopath Traveler >>

OTHERWORLD: A Tribute to Silent Hill

OTHERWORLD revisits Akira Yamaoka’s groundbreaking Silent Hill soundtracks, plunging deep into the emotional depths of the original games. The result was an album that differs from its Community predecessors in tone: ambient, edgy, and dark. It maintains that atmosphere over its nearly fifty tracks, its cohesive flow as focused as a concept album. Fans will be especially pleased by the renditions of Silent Hill’s many sung tracks, with musicians like Ashlee Busch, Luci Holland, and M. Garrett Steele voicing the anguish at the series’ core.

Best for: Horror fans; those who love dark, industrial, or gothic music; electronic musicians of all kinds

Listen to OTHERWORLD: A Tribute to Silent Hill >>

Digital December: Spotlight on Video Game Cover Albums

The video game music cover scene is thriving and diverse, with musicians from every possible genre expressing their love for their favorite games and soundtracks. Video game covers are how Materia started, and they continue to be a core part of our identity. We partner with musicians and arrangers around the world to help bring their vision to life, because at the end of the day, we’re all fans sharing our passion with other fans.

Some of these artists might be long-time favorites of yours; others might be new to you. But we hope you’ll take a listen to some of our featured video game cover albums and find the perfect music to add to your collection. (Use the code dd2020 on our Bandcamp all through December for 15% off any digital purchase.)

Fallen Hero

Fallen Hero album cover art

Guitarist Ro Panuganti has achieved a following on YouTube thanks to his thoughtful and heart-pounding metal arrangements of video game classics. With Fallen Hero, he takes his guitar-centric arrangements a few steps further. One part prog metal, one part rock opera, Fallen Hero tells the story of UNDERTALE in a new and powerful way. It merges progressive rock, orchestral metal, and Bollywood-influenced Indian pop — not just guitars but also sitars, violins, marimbas, saxophones, clarinets, and more. Featuring guest performances by String Player Gamer, Doug Perry, Sab Irene, RichaadEB, FamilyJules, and more.

You might like this album if: you appreciate face-melting metal; you enjoy atypical instruments and genre fusions; you love electric guitars; you follow VGM YouTubers, especially this who’s-who of UNDERTALE cover musicians.

Listen to Fallen Hero >>

Piano Collections: CHRONO TRIGGER

Piano Collections: CHRONO TRIGGER album cover art

Chrono Trigger is a timeless classic with a soundtrack beloved by generations of RPG fans. Trevor Alan Gomes is an incredibly expressive and talented pianist and showman who has built a name for himself on Twitch as 88bitmusic. In this album, he gives Chrono Trigger the Piano Collections treatment, with impressive arrangements that are a bombastic fusion of classical, jazz, rock, Japanese pop, and more. The original melodies you love are all recognizable, though the arrangements breathe new life into them.

You might like this album if: you love a skillfully played piano, especially one that goes beyond traditional classical music; you own the official Final Fantasy Piano Collections albums; you’re a Yasunori Mitsuda fan.

Listen to Piano Collections: CHRONO TRIGGER >>

Alola That Jazz: a Pokémon Sun / Moon Jazz Album

Alola That Jazz album cover art

Alola That Jazz is a groovy masterpiece exploring the music of Pokémon Generation 7 (Sun and Moon) as only YouTube legend insaneintherainmusic can. Whether you’re a lifelong fan of the Pokémon series or just an appreciator of really good jazz, you’ll love this one. Many of the tracks are showcases for insaneintherain’s own virtuosic saxophone skills, but collaborators bring trombone, guitar, and more to round the album out. There’s an emphasis on the game’s most popular battle tracks (featuring, of course, Guzma and Lusamine) as well as area themes.

You might like this album if: you’re a Pokémon fan who may or may not know jazz; you don’t know Pokémon well but you do love jazz; you’ve grown up with the series and your taste has grown up to match.

Listen to Alola That Jazz >>

Sacred Groves: A Celtic VGM Tribute

Sacred Groves: A Celtic VGM Tribute album cover art

Sacred Groves is a Celtic-inspired album showcasing the versatile vocal talents of Psamathes as a one-woman choir, singing everything from gentle folk to outright opera. Featuring favorites from UNDERTALE, Celeste, Hollow Knight, The Witcher 3, Majora’s Mask, Final Fantasy VII, and more. Each piece has been arranged with original lyrics written in a conlang (constructed language) that sounds like something from a fantasy land. The end result is ethereal, haunting, and beautiful, and it will stick with you for years to come.

You might like this album if: you have a soft spot for female vocalists; you enjoyed the vocal style and constructed languages of the NieR games; you play RPGs and are drawn to darkly beautiful storytelling.

Listen to Sacred Groves >>

rE:IMAGINE — Music from the world ends with you

RE:IMAGINE Music from The World Ends with You album cover art

The World Ends With You is a stylish, stylized cult-classic game with a brilliant soundtrack. Earlier this year, it made the news with the surprise announcement that it’s getting a sequel, thrilling the fans who have been dedicated to it since it came out in 2007. Musician and arranger Catboss. took the game’s emphasis on broadening your horizons and used that as inspiration for an 11-track homage, RE:Imagine, that is just as diverse and offbeat as the original.

You might like this album if: you have eclectic taste and enjoy a touch of jazz, a mix of instrumental and vocals, and a palette using both digital and analog sounds.

Listen to RE:IMAGINE >>


Funky Dealings album cover art

Another cult-classic game, Jet Set Radio is like nothing else out there. Its graffiti-driven gameplay and colorful graphics left an indelible mark on the imaginations of an entire generation of musicians and artists, and the soundtrack by Hideki Naganuma is just as influential. Funky Dealings distills what fans love about the Jet Set Radio soundtrack into its most concentrated form: three tracks inspired by hip-hop, punk rock, and chiptune. It’s a funky, friendly, high-energy EP pulling not only from the original but also from arranger Ronin Op F’s own diverse musical interests. We dare you to listen to Funky Dealings without smiling.

You might like this album if: you like upbeat, funky music; you’re interested in a fusion of chiptune and hip-hop; you love a graffiti-inspired aesthetic.

Listen to Funky Dealings >>

towards the sun

Towards the Sun album cover art

On the opposite end of the spectrum, Towards the Sun aims to take the viewer on a sonic — and emotional — journey through more somber territory. A concept album following the story of charming but melancholy indie darling OneShot, Towards the Sun by BillyTheBard11th blends low-fi electronica and progressive metal in beautiful but unexpected ways. The original soundtrack by Nightmargin is as dramatic as the game deserves, and Towards the Sun brings new depth to these 11 tracks with chuggy guitars, ethereal ambient soundscapes, and so much more.

You might like this album if: you’re a metalhead looking for something different; you’re a fan of electronic/instrumental fusion; you like moody, atmospheric music.

Listen to Towards the Sun >>

Another World Symphony

Another World Symphony album cover art

You may not have played the cinematic 1991 adventure game Another World (Out of This World in North America) yourself, but you’ve almost certainly played games that drew inspiration from it. Hideo Kojima (Metal Gear) and Fumito Ueda (ICO) are just a few of the most well-known developers who cite its influence on their games. In Another World Symphony, Rich Douglas reimagines the game’s soundtrack based on the definitive Sega CD release, blending traditional orchestration with synthesizers and an avant-garde approach. It’s a deep cut, but Another World Symphony is definitely worth your time.

You might like this album if: you’re a game historian or collector interested in groundbreaking games of the past; you like cinematic scores that take you through a story.

Listen to Another World Symphony >>

Sleep Mode

Sleep Mode album cover art

Whether you’re trying to inspire the next generation of game enthusiasts or just looking for a restful night’s sleep yourself, the lullabies on Sleep Mode are a respite from the stresses of the world. Inspired by her experiences as a mother herself, SonikBuster has reimagined six tracks from Undertale, Kingdom Hearts, Ori and the Blind Forest, and more with original lyrics and soothing vocals. It’s a sweet little album that’s a bit different from the more bombastic video game covers that tend to dominate the scene.

You might like this album if: you’re a gamer parent; you enjoy music that helps you unwind; you’re a fan of vocal albums; you want something low-key.

Listen to Sleep Mode >>

UNDERTALE: Strings of determination

Strings of Determination album cover art

String Player Gamer made a name for himself creating full orchestral arrangements featuring himself (in duplicate) on violin, but he quickly expanded his repertoire to incorporate heavier instrumentation, and UNDERTALE: Strings of Determination shows him at his best. The centerpiece is, as always, his brilliant electric violin performance — but this massive 46-track album packs a punch thanks to electric guitar, synth, and drums. As fits the UNDERTALE soundtrack, the arrangements are sometimes heavy, sometimes delicate, but always lovely, and your favorites are almost certainly on this album.

You might like this album if: you appreciate a little symphony in your rock and metal; you know and love the sound of an electric violin; you like UNDERTALE arrangements with some power.

Listen to UNDERTALE: Strings of Determination >>

Hang on to Your Hat

Hang on to Your Hat album cover art

This isn’t the first Super Mario 64 big-band jazz album out there — stylistically, it’s a natural fit for the original soundtrack — but Hang on to Your Hat by the Video Game Jazz Orchestra is one of the most ambitious and musically impressive takes in the genre. This is a bold claim that the album lives up to. With virtuosic live performances by Nashville legends, and extraordinary arrangements by long-time staples of the video game music scene, Hang on to Your Hat is a tour de force.

You might like this album if: you grew up with the Nintendo 64; you’re a swing dancer or just love the music; you love bold, brassy big-band arrangements; you can appreciate the brilliance and energy of live performance.

Listen to Hang on to Your Hat >>

Digital December: Spotlight on Indie Game Soundtracks

So many of the great games of the past decade (and beyond) have come from the indie game scene. While indie games themselves continue to gain more attention and press, we want to raise awareness of the fantastic music to be found on indie game soundtracks in all genres.

Read on for a selection of original game soundtracks that deserve the spotlight. (And if you’d like to add any of these albums to your collection this December, use the code dd2020 on our Bandcamp all month long for 15% off any digital purchase.)


Ikenfell game soundtrack cover art

aivi & surasshu’s first project post-Steven Universe is the score to this charming indie game about a group of meddlesome students at a school for witches. Fans of animated series like Steven Universe and The Owl House will be drawn to the world of Ikenfell, while the timing-based RPG tactics call back to classics like Super Mario RPG

And what about the music? It’s aivi & surasshu at their best, and it showcases the talents of Sabrielle Augustin, who composed additional tracks for the soundtrack. aivi & surasshu pioneered a blend of piano and chiptune/synth back on their debut album The Black Box, and over the last few years they’ve carved out a genre they call digital fusion, blending spontaneous improvisation with computer-aided techniques. The Ikenfell score is a perfect example. It also features contributions by Renko, Sammus, Adriana Figueroa, Rekcahdam, and more. 

You might like this album if: you’re already a fan of aivi & surasshu’s other work; you’re a fan of chiptune in general; you like strong character-driven music with powerful vocals.

Listen to the Ikenfell original game soundtrack >>

For the King

For the King original game soundtrack cover art

Chicago’s John Robert Matz is one of the hardest-working indie composers out there. Since his breakout score to the starship bridge simulator Artemis, Matz has provided music for Rocketjump’s skits, games like Fossil Echo, and Devolver Digital’s endlessly memed press conferences. He also lent his golden singing voice to the main character in the hit game Wandersong.

The soundtrack For the King may be the culmination of everything Matz has worked for as a brass player and a lover of music history, wrapped up in one stunning package. Shades of early and Renaissance music blend with fantasy music to create a gorgeous musical tour of a faraway land.

You might like this album if: you’re a fan of Howard Shore’s music from Lord of the Rings or Ramin Djawadi’s score for Game of Thrones.

Listen to the For the King original game soundtrack >>

Fossil Hunters

Fossil Hunters original game soundtrack cover art

You may know Toronto-based composer Robby Duguay from any number of things. He’s a driving force behind The Game Brass, and his quirkily nostalgic 12 GB of Christmas albums are a fun, clever treat to roll out around the holiday season. You may have heard his work in games like Graceful Explosion Machine or Super Crush K.O. But Fossil Hunters stands out, even among Duguay’s impressive body of work.

Fossil Hunters is an action-adventure game about digging up and building dinosaurs. With a hand from orchestrator/Twitch star Trevor Alan Gomes, the soundtrack brings Duguay’s melodic vision to life with a wide range of percussion and a live 60-piece orchestra. Fossil Hunter’s bright melodies are whimsical and majestic all at once, and the soundtrack evokes some of the playful grandeur of the 3D Mario soundtracks. Gomes has also arranged several of the tracks for solo piano, which perfectly round out this gorgeous album.

You might like this album if: you’re looking for the soundtrack for your next adventure; you like the warmth and presence that only live recordings can bring.

Listen to the Fossil Hunters original game soundtrack >>

Aven Colony

Aven Colony original game soundtrack cover art

Austin-based composer Alexander Brandon is a titan of the PC gaming world. His credits include classics like Unreal, Deus Ex, and even Jazz Jackrabbit 2, and you’ve heard his voice in series like Thief, Mortal Kombat, and Wasteland.

With Aven Colony, players are tasked with building a settlement on a distant planet, so that humanity can survive. Brandon composed in layers to mirror the increasing complexities of the colony as the game progresses. From beds of dense, otherworldly synthesizers, more human elements start to slowly come in — percussion, brass, even voices. 

The soundtrack album brings all of these variations to the table, so that you can hear the music build, track by track. The blend of synths and organics highlights the tenuous marriage of technology and nature that drives civilization, and while the game may be strategy-based, fans of sci-fi action movies are going to find a lot of familiar things to love in the music.

You might like this album if: inspiring, uplifting science fiction is your thing; you enjoy a musical fusion of digital and organic instrumentation.

Listen to the Aven Colony original game soundtrack >>

Tin Hearts

Tin Hearts original game soundtrack cover art

Matthew Chastney is a British composer, releasing music as The Dreamless Sleep and scoring media projects — especially trailers for Netflix projects like The Umbrella Academy and The Prom. On this album, he gets to show off his sensitive side.

Tin Hearts is a puzzle game about guiding a troop of toy soldiers back to their home. Chastney’s music fits the cozy, home-spun aesthetic of the game, and provides the exact kind of calm, thoughtful vibe that you would want from a puzzle game soundtrack. Warm, pastoral, and gentle, Tin Hearts features Richard Curran on strings, Jordi Francis on harp, and winds by Laura Intravia and Kristin Naigus. It takes restraint to take a superstar lineup of talent and use them for something this gentle, but Tin Hearts is perfection for it.

You might like this album if: you’re looking for cozy, feel-good music that will help you get in the zone and solve puzzles.

Listen to the Tin Hearts original game soundtrack >>

Arcade Spirits

Arcade Spirits original game soundtrack cover art

The last few years have seen nostalgia for the 80s at an all-time high. But not the boring, dull, ugly 80s that actually happened — no, rather the neon-lit dreamscape that laser-light Sears portraits and pastel Taco Bell tables promised us.

Arcade Spirits follows up on those better, cooler 80s. The video game industry crash never happened, and arcades are where all the coolest people still hang out and work. You play as a newly-minted arcade employee navigating love, life, and video games in this pixel-perfect romantic comedy.

The soundtrack by Pittsburgh artist and composer Greg Mirles falls square within the new synthwave/retrowave tradition, bringing you the best music from a past that never was. Retro synths are used to surprisingly chill effect, creating a sonic backdrop that’s propulsive enough to feel entrancing, but not urgent.

You might like this album if: you’re an 80s child (or have the heart of an 80s child); chill synthwave is your jam.

Listen to the Arcade Spirits original game soundtrack >>

Mythic Ocean

Mythic Ocean original game soundtrack cover art

Mythic Ocean is a gorgeous underwater adventure with a unique hook — the world has ended! But that’s okay, because the gods are about to make a new one. What will the world they design be like this time?

Your role is to talk to the childlike godlings, trying to help them grow in power and in compassion, until you ultimately decide which of them will have the biggest role in shaping the world to come. It’s a surprisingly philosophical and psychological game beneath the sweet, colorful graphics.

Mythic Ocean came from a team of just three developers. One of the writers, Darren Malley, also contributed this gorgeous, ethereal soundtrack. Other games have tried to capture the otherworldly feeling of the ocean before — including classics like Ecco the Dolphin — but none of them quite match the emotional breadth and depth of Malley’s sprawling, 2.5-hour score.

You might like this album if: you enjoy the Ecco the Dolphin soundtrack; you like jazz flute; you’re looking for something atmospheric.

Listen to the Mythic Ocean original game soundtrack >>

Bloody Trapland 2: Curiosity

Bloody Trapland 2 original game soundtrack cover art

In Bloody Trapland 2: Curiosity, players are tasked with helping a team of furry, adorable animals through a landscape plagued by…well, bloody traps. The game definitely caters to a particular sense of humor, but everyone can enjoy Swedish composer Fredrik Häthén’s score.

By turns adventurous, jaunty, contemplative, ethereal, and melancholy, Häthén takes the many varied environments of the game and uses them to create a sprawling sonic world all his own. All the things that you might expect from a game soundtrack are here — twinkly tunes for the Snowy Mountain, the obligatory desert stage theme — but Häthén’s deft hand takes a sharp left turn with the tropes, landing in fresh, unexpected places. You might not expect to find such a comforting, charming ride behind a title like this, but that’s just the first delightful surprise of many.

You might like this album if: you like variety in your listening experience.

Listen to the Bloody Trapland 2: Curiosity original game soundtrack >>

Bubsy: Paws on Fire

Bubsy: Paws on Fire! original game soundtrack cover art

Stemage has been a pillar in the video game music scene for over a decade, starting (as many modern game composers did) as an enthusiast and a cover artist. From his early work as the core of Metroid Metal to his gorgeous guitar performances for Steven Universe to his energetic turn as an in-house performer for the label Brave Wave, Stemage is a dynamic, captivating performer.

But he’s also been composing original game scores for years, and his collaboration with developer Choice Provisions on the Bit.Trip series led him to work on Bubsy when the developer revived the classic platformer series.

It’s fitting that a musician who cut his teeth interpreting NES/SNES music finally gets to play in the platformer sandbox, and Stemage’s love for the musical tradition here absolutely shines. His chirpy, bouncy melodies are partnered with arrangements that evoke the tunes of the 32-bit era, with each playable character getting their own arrangements of each piece of music. If you geek out over classic VGM, this isn’t an album you can miss out on. 

You might like this album if: you can’t get enough of the retro sound; you want something high-energy that will get stuck in your head (in a good way).

Listen to the Bubsy: Paws on Fire! original game soundtrack >>

Ary and the Secret of Seasons

Ary and the Secret of Seasons original game soundtrack cover art

Brighton-based composer Marcus Hedges has spent years establishing himself on YouTube with lush orchestral arrangements of classics from the video game and animation canon.

Ary and the Secret of Seasons is an indie adventure game that hearkens back to the battling, platforming, and puzzles of the Nintendo 64 and PlayStation era. For a composer like Hedges, who’s made his name bringing modern grandeur to the classics of that age, it’s a perfect fit. 

Hedges’s score for Ary is vivacious and varied, capturing the shifting seasons of the land of Valdi. But at its heart, is a mastery of arrangement and orchestration. If you grew up humming Zelda tunes, Ary is worth checking out.

You might like this album if: you love Zelda games, especially the N64 classics; you appreciate sweeping orchestral scores.

Listen to the Ary and the Secret of Seasons original game soundtrack >>


Yooka-Laylee original game soundtrack cover art

Speaking of nostalgia for the Nintendo 64’s heyday, Playtonics’ Yooka-Laylee is a throwback 3D platformer from many of the same people who brought you Banjo-Kazooie and Donkey Kong Country. The game launched following a wildly successful Kickstarter campaign, where over 73,000 backers pledged more than ten times the initial goal to help get the game made. 

Naturally, Rare superstars Grant Kirkhope, David Wise, and Steve Burke had to come on board to compose the music. All of the colorful whimsy of the Rare scores you grew up with is here — this is a perfect soundtrack for fans of classics Donkey Kong Country or Banjo-Kazooie. The ever-so-slight sense of skewed bounciness may also please fans of vintage Tim Burton soundtracks. 

You might like this album if: you’ve got nostalgia (or current love) for the colorful platformers of the 64-bit era; you love high-energy weirdness with a sense of childlike wonder.

Listen to the Yooka-Laylee original game soundtrack >>

Frog Fractions 2

Frog Fractions 2 original game soundtrack cover art

Frog Fractions is… hard to explain. The original game starts out pretending to be an edutainment game about eating bugs on a lily pad. But before long, players have to navigate a text adventure game, a Dance Dance Revolution-style rhythm game, and the horrors of bureaucracy (to obtain a work visa).

The game was meant to be a joke between friends, but it turned into a runaway hit. A sequel was Kickstarted, and after a couple of years of silence, an augmented-reality game slowly tipped backers off that their long-awaited sequel was … hidden inside another game, a town-building sim called Glittermitten Grove.

The world of Frog Fractions is confusing and surreal, and the music for it brings in a team of heavy-hitting video game composers like Danny Baranowsky, Ben Prunty, and Ryan Ike, who coproduced the album with Erica Newman (aka YerrikTRB). The album provides music for Glittermitten Grove, music from the ARG that led people to discover Frog Fractions 2, and of course, Frog Fractions 2 itself. Imagine a Carmen Sandiego-themed Gregorian chant, an Alien/Seinfeld mashup, and a Final Fantasy VI–style battle track all on the same album and you’re beginning to understand what you’re getting into.

If that sounds a little odd or confusing, you’re not wrong. But we encourage you to give it a shot knowing that you’re listening to some of the best game composers of the era, cutting loose, collaborating, and having a fantastic time.

You might like this album if: you have an offbeat sense of humor; you want to see what some composers you love come up with when challenged to write something very, very weird but also good.

Listen to the Frog Fractions 2 original game soundtrack >>