High Scores

High Scores: Factory Songs

Factory songs have many influences: synth, techno, heavy metal, and industrial music. One sure progenitor of the videogame factory song is Raymond Scott’s “Powerhouse,” composed in 1937 and used in Looney Tunes as early as 1943. Madcap and sinister, “Powerhouse” has become synonymous with satirical representations of industry. Most videogame factory music strikes a similar tone, though often much darker.

High Scores: Bonetrousle

“Bonetrousle” deserves a spin in the spotlight. It’s a bop and, unlike “Megalovania,” not a bummer. Without going into too much detail, the narrative context of “Megalovania” captures Undertale at its darkest. The situation is macabre, as good death metal tends to be. “Bonetrousle” is relatively uncomplicated fun. It makes me wanna dance.

High Scores: Hymn of the Fayth

It’s the only song the Spirans get, and they are obsessed with it. By limiting the diegetic music in Spira to a single song while making the game’s non-diegetic music rich and varied, Uematsu succeeded in conveying the bleak monotony of Spiran life while still evoking a complexity of emotions in the player.

High Scores: Pyramid Peril

“Pyramid Peril” is an appropriate song to spotlight, not only because it’s Maddigan’s favorite but also because it speaks to the game’s opportunities—and its perils. For an indie game, Cuphead has had an amazingly wide reach, which is sure to continue growing.

High Scores: Dire, Dire Docks

If “Dire, Dire Docks” sounds celebratory of the developers’ achievement, the celebration is earned. Super Mario 64 turned 25 this month (its original release date, in Japan, was June 23, 1996), and it has aged remarkably well. More time has passed between Mario 64 and the present day than had passed between Pong’s release (November 29, 1972) and Mario 64’s. And yet Mario 64, while obviously blockier than current-gen graphics, still looks, sounds, and feels like a modern game.