One of my favorite discoveries of 2009 was Australian independent game developer Halfbrick. With a unique blend of stylized visuals and intuitive gameplay mechanics, Halfbrick has emerged as the true champion of the mini-game market. Though their titles have taken me from deep space to futuristic raceways and into an abstract world of wandering spirits, the common thread throughout is an uncanny brand of addictive fun that manages to marry amazing depth with elegant simplicity.
Also aiding in Halfbrick’s mission to keep the player coming back for more is the studio’s charming musical direction. One of the finest examples is Halfbrick Blast Off, a title available through both the Xbox Live Marketplace and the PlayStation Network. As you navigate your craft around planetary gravity fields, attempting to rescue stranded astronauts while managing quickly exhaustible supplies of fuel and oxygen, you are treated to appropriately stirring ambient electronica.
To celebrate the New Year, as well as the critical acclaim garnered by the title, Halfbrick has released the Blast Off soundtrack for free. Torrents are available for both MP3 and Apple Lossless versions of the soundtrack, and, if you enjoy the music, I’d highly recommend that you give the game itself a try. Unlike most bite-sized titles, it’s well worth the price tag!