game score

Soundtrack review: Gravity Ghost (Ben Prunty – 2015)

gravityghost

“Gravity ghost” is physics based puzzle game where the player controls the ghost of a little girl, Iona, who flies through a fantasized version of space with her friend, a ghost fox. I like this type of games; I’ve been playing games like “The incredible machine” or “World of goo”. It’s all about balance and understanding the laws of physics. Composer Ben Prunty was a hit with the score for the FTL game and he grew up playing video games. I am expecting some retro arcade game music and if this is the case, I’ll be a happy camper.

The beginning is eerie and it should be so since it’s „Welcome to the afterlife”. Iona arrives in her new world and gets accustomed to it. The sound of this cue is strange. It seems like all the instruments have been passed through a strange filter. I could imagine that this is how the little ghost perceives the world she just left, a little distorted. I would love to single out the synth but I don’t feel much of it.

“Flower girl” delivers that sound I am so nostalgic about. Just raw electronic melodies that take me back, way back and bring a warm feeling inside me. I am slowly hypnotized by Ben Prunty’s sounds. “Painted stars” quiets down everything around me and I am an object floating in the eternal space of the game. I don’t know why but this is the kind of atmospheric cue I could listen to for hours without realizing.

Other moments from the score sound like ambient music for the game. I close my eyes and realize that pieces like “Guardian cave” and “Galaxy pool” echo back to hours spend playing quest video games. I don’t need more. I know it might be hard for many people to enjoy these compositions but for me they are just what the doctor ordered. Hypnotic, atmospheric, relaxing with the sounds of water ripples…

Other moments are not as exciting for me. The sound of “Gravity ghost” is definitely interesting and I can identify in two seconds what the music was written for. But outside the context of the game I can’t connect to pieces like “Spirits” or “Salamander”. They are musical experiments worth listening once though (like “Cloud chamber”, for example). Me, I am longing for that ambient melodic sound.

Two titles of cues intrigue me. I was looking over the track list and when I saw “Terraforming” and “the people you abandoned” one after the other I wondered if I didn’t stumble upon two cues from the “Man of steel” recording sessions who died and woke up in the same afterlife as this little girl, in a totally different score.

“Gravity ghosts” is definitely a special score. It has its own little place, its own little atmosphere and I imagine it floats just like a helpful ghosts among the other scores. I enjoyed the memories it brought and the way it made me feel. It transported me in a place where I could see things differently.

Cue rating: 79 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 15 / 53

Album excellence: 28%

Highlights:

Welcome to the Afterlife

Flower Girl

Painted Stars

Galaxy Pool

lilla vän

Memory

About the author

Mihnea Manduteanu

I have been listening to film music for 25 years and writing about it since 2014. I've written over 1000 reviews and I can't imagine myself doing anything else. I am also a member of IFMCA (International Film Music Critics Association).

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