Parental Advisory: Amplitude

Do you recognize yourself in the following? You are rushing to get out of bed, rushing to go to work, rushing all day at work, rushing home, rushing to make dinner, rushing to get the kids to bed and then when the house is finally quiet, you get to sit down with a glass of (strong) alcohol to play a game. . . after you watch a show you aren’t really interested in, but let’s face it, you have to make some time for that stranger on the other side of the couch as well. “Hi spouse, how was your day? You’re going to bed early? Ok, mind if I play my game for a little bit? Thanks, love you too, I won’t be long.”

You have one hour…you need something to pick up and play.


Amplitude is a reboot of a game I didn’t play back in 2003, but I’m glad I picked up the Kickstarted funded new version in early 2016. I once described this game to my wife as “It’s like Rockband, but instead you are a space ship inside someone’s brain”. Even though she adores Rockband, this description did absolutely nothing for her and she just looked at me kinda funny.

What I MEANT to say was, the game play consists of rhythmically hitting notes on a pre-determined track. This should remind anyone of the gameplay of Rockband, except instead of using an instrument, you are controlling a little space ship that has to shoot the notes with a tiny laser. This appears to happen inside someone’s brain, but that doesn’t effect the gameplay whatsoever.


What makes this game a great Pick up and Play game is that you can immediately jump into the action. The free play mode opens up a limited set of songs, but playing them will unlock new ones consistently. Besides new songs, you will also unlock some power-ups that will help you beat your own scores (multipliers, time slows etc.) and become the master of your leaderboard. Your scores are influenced by the difficulty level you play on though, so try not to trash talk your Expert friend if you can’t even finish a level on Advanced.


Quick to play

Ever song is between around 2-3 minutes long and despite them being composed purely for the game, they are all pretty good. Good luck getting “Decode me” out of your head after you play it a couple of times. It does take some time to master the controls and it’s easy to blame Harmonix at first for making you jump through impossible loops. It’s really not their fault though, you are just repeating your same mistakes over and over again. I am speaking from experience.

There are several gamepad configurations for you to set up, including a one hand mode (Which is amazing for Able Gamers, thank you for this Harmonix) and once you get the hang of it, Amplitude is a delight to end your busy night on. Pop on some headphone (keep an eye on that baby monitor though) and treat yourself to a deluge of bright colors, cool space ships and slick beats.


Amplitude is on PSN for $19.99, making it a great candidate to pick up and play.
DISCLAIMER: You might end up dreaming of highways. Very colorful highways.

What are your favorite games to play when you are in a crunch? Do you have any incredible tips to re-organize my life so I can go back to playing games 8 hours a day and STILL be dad/husbando of the year? Please let me know in the comments!

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