A strange woodland space and a pocket universe waiting to be brought alive by music are the two settings of Haunted Garage.
Haunted Garage, from Games for Ghosts, is a wonderful, hand-drawn musical experience. It all begins with you leaving a room to go into a small woodland area. There are objects which you can interact with, in a hidden object game or first-person point and click game style. Collect a few of these and use them on objects or visitors. You’ll end up recruiting a human metronome and then start collecting musical instruments.
This is where the experience really changes, because you can take these instruments and place them within an empty room. Each of the instruments are interactive in some way, some may be pipes you move, others are drum machines or machines with buttons and dials which can be tweaked. Regardless of how you interact with them, they all play music, and all around a simple beat which matches the metronome.
The whole experience is managed in a clean, visual manner, and even if you are not musically attuned (like myself) it’s very hard to not build a natty little rhythm which you can be comfortable in leaving running on loop. Dipping between that and the object-finding experience of the ‘outside’ world was never a stressful experience and I was actually a little sad when it all came to an end.
I played through the demo of Haunted Garage while it was on show at EGX Rezzed, in the Leftfield Collection, earlier in the year. It’s a strange experience to sit in a busy aisle, with people bustling around you, as you compose a little jingle through exploring a forest.
A very similarly scaled demo is available on its website right now. There’s currently no release date for it, nor do we know if it will be fully releasing or simply continuing to exist as a work-in-progress, browser-based experience.