Punk O Matic Game

Punk O Matic - Never not the perfect choice for assembling a pre-sequenced punk track

Don't Need Skill

Punk may be a by-gone era, but punk in this case acts as more of an umbrella label for music of the heavier variety, and the -O-Matic suffix hints at what the game's intention is all about, which is the easy-to-compose assembling of a great punk rock masterpiece. Though you wouldn't have bands like the Sex Pistols messing around with any kind of composition tool quite like this, it is a sign of the times that one is able to go ahead and compose a fully-fledged piece of music from a small database of riffs, drumbeats, and other parts. So who wouldn't want to get themselves fully stuck into the assembling of their very first punk-rock performance with just a few clicks of the mouse and a head bobbing along in time? Not any of us, that's for sure;it's worth seeing what all the fuss is about.

Wake Up In the AM, Compose a Beat

Though there are quite a few sequencer games out there such as Step Seq. and the wonderfully artistic and inventive Incredibox, Punk-O-Matic seems to have struck quite the chord (literally and figuratively) with fans across the world;this could be down to the game's wonderful simplicity. Instead of having to think up ideas all on your own, you are given a sequencing grid with three instruments: drums, and two guitars. Sounds simple enough, right? Well, it's even simpler than that, since all you have to is use your mouse to choose from one of ten different pre-recorded parts for each instrument by clicking on each square with the mouse. You can let a part play for the entire sequence or simply for a beats: it's up to you since the timing is actually in your hands.

The format of Punk-O-Matic will be familiar to anyone that has experienced a sequencer before, but it's really not that hard to pick up if you're new to this kind of game either. Each square on the sequencer basically counts as a bar of music which you can choose to fill with any of the pre-existing drum or guitar parts. You can make the same part play over and over or can switch them out frequently. You will discover a variety of different beats and fills, a range of different rhythm guitar parts, some lead guitar solo-like offerings as well to mix things up a bit. It's quite a good amount of choice, though if you're looking for more variety then you can always check out Punk-O-Matic 2 where things have really come along in terms of variety and also gameplay elements.

And I've Still Got Love for the Beats

The design of Punk-o-Matic as well as its graphics are fairly straightforward but you can tell some care has been put into assembling a band that plays when you play your self-composed track (or select from any of the presets, or even dare to click the "random" function") as well as making the sequence itself look a little polished and well-presented. Punk-O-Matic has its limitations however, since you're not truly composing like in Step Seq. but are rather arranging parts that have already been recorded. This shouldn't be to the game's detriment however since it only ever claimed by its very title to be a punk machine capable of churning out parts that must be ordered by the player. Evil Dog have done a very good job of creating a smash hit here which they have built on to produce one of the most popular Music Game series out there. There is no better way to start off such a venture than with a game of Punk-O-Matic's stature, that's for sure.

82/100

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