Lost in Harmony
If you’d have told me that one of my favorite games of 2018 would be a rhythm game originally released as a freemium mobile title in 2016 and only now receiving a paid version on the PC and Nintendo Switch, I’d have laughed in your face. Lost in Harmony is that game, though, and it’s not an exaggeration to say that this game is playable art (for the most part, at least) now that there are no freemium currencies and ads trying to worm their way into the experience.
As an exploration of artistic expression Lost in Harmony is a gorgeous and fascinating feast for your senses, blending great music with visual flourishes throughout. I suppose you could find the story of Kaito and Aya to be a touching one but it’s also only used as a vehicle for driving Kaito’s dreams and not much more for the most part. If you’re someone who really wants to master levels and nail their execution, or even tend to get frustrated by unfair or sloppy sequences it’s the controls that will absolutely grate on your nerves. I appreciate what they’re trying to do but the controls simply don’t hold up to the action on the screen. You can work through it and progress but there’s no denying they’re aggravating. All of this makes Lost in Harmony tough to recommend over better-executed genre titles, though there’s nothing else quite like it on the system so that does make it novel.
Overall, Lost in Harmony, while providing a couple hours' entertainment, is a well-designed runner with great music. It is a definite hit with people who love this genre, though the integration of the rhythm isn't stellar. I won't be getting lost in the game for a second play-through, but I enjoyed my time with it.
In the end, Lost in Harmony just doesn't deliver. The dual stories can be hit-and-miss for some players, but the music is good in both tales. However, the poor gameplay implementation sinks the experience, and the lackluster presentation doesn't help, either. The game is inexpensive at $6.99, but it can only be recommended if you've exhausted all other options and still want something to play that isn't terrible.
If you'd like to experience the sense of flow of iOS rhythm games or runners without the touch controls, Lost in Harmony's isolated keys and horizontal scroller may prove attractive on the PC. But alas, it's better suited to the smartphone, and with its rich, painted aesthetic and surprisingly grounded story, it's probably amongst the strongest on that market.
Lost in Harmony is a solid take on the rhythm genre.
Lost in Harmony is a game that suggests a deep, meaningful relationship with music as a medium, but it only superficially uses musical clichés as a vehicle for its story. Again, this in itself wouldn't be a problem if the story was an incredibly poignant one which was improved by the form of dreamscape storytelling utilised in the game. Unfortunately, DigixArt clearly meant well, it struggled a little with turning a sad story into an interesting one.
Overall, Lost in Harmony feels and looks unpolished to me in terms of the basic gameplay and beats you are supposed to time to the music, which is the least you should expect from a game of this genre.
Lost in Harmony brings some imaginative ideas to the table, but those ideas are a struggle to enjoy due to the game's somewhat sloppy execution and even sloppier port job
Lost in Harmony on Switch tries to do a lot of things and fails at most of them.