The following review is on a music app called Otomata for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. Batuhan Bozkurt of Earslap is the Turkish developer of Otomata. He describes Otomata as a generative sequencer using cellular automaton logic, hence the name. Otomata can already be played for free online as a Flash game. I first came across Otomata when my friend sent me a link to the earflap site. I ended up spending hours upon hours at the website doodling around. I actually thought that I had a natural talent for music; that is until I saw what other people were capable of producing.
One of my first thoughts after playing the game was that Otomata would make an awesome app, and how much I would love to play this to try to kill time in class. Er, I mean the bus stop. Anyway, I later read that the creator was working on an IOS version of the game. After reading this I soon started to try to convince the creator to release it sooner saying how I would review it if it ever came out.
So here is my review of the Otomata iOS app. The controls are simple, just tap the screen to place your notes, and click play to listen. It’s really a trial and error type app, and instructions aren’t needed. There are dozens of presets, so if you don’t enjoy your own work you can listen to others. The options include saving your own works, and loading them to make changes. Last I checked, Earslap was working on a program that helps record pieces. The online version already has this functionality but not the app.
Length of music is also something a lot of people ask about. Is there a combination that would make an infinite melody? It is possible, and placement does require a little math if you really want to take this seriously.
The Otomata app is very simple and the only negative I see is the pricing. I don’t mean it’s expensive but it’s kind of cheap. Seeing a $0.99 price tag on an app for someone who’s casually surfing the iTunes Store might feel waterish at first. But looking at it in another way, there is a free version online. The $0.99 is really just making it portable. Otomata being free also means there is no need for a lite version. Just go to http://www.earslap.com/projectslab/otomata and you can play the game.
Otomata is a very creative app, and is surely going to kill time at the bus stop. But besides that, it’s a very affordable app and is well worth purchasing for you music lovers. I look forward to more music inspired iPhone games in this style.
Here is a video demo of the Otomata app on the iPhone
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