How to be a Cubase Columbo

So what is a Phonopath? A psychopath in headphones?

No. Well, perhaps, we've not solved it yet, but we will....Phonopath is an online puzzle which is designed specifically for audio geeks like me and you. The brainchild of Kevin Regamey, Phonopath an alternate reality game rooted in audio, and a finalist for Excellence in Audio for the upcoming IGF Awards. On the landing page Kevin promises:

"...a puzzle game based entirely in audio. Each stage of the game is comprised of a sound clip and password request. The password lies hidden within the audio file itself, and can only be revealed through critical listening, careful analysis and manipulation. Phonopath aims to explore the limits of “the audio file as a puzzle medium".

Expect to learn something."

Speaking on, Kevin reckons that Phonopath "started as a fun hobby, just creating puzzles for my audiophile friends...but as I kept delving pushing this idea of "an audio file as a puzzle medium", eventually I'd come up with enough content to start thinking about building a game around it all."

There are 28 puzzles in total, and each one is based around a different audio file. In order to solve these puzzles you will need software that allows you to manipulate these audio files, which should not prove any hardship to anyone reading this post, and if you have a background in audio engineering that won't do any harm either.

Each sound file holds the key to solving each puzzle, and the player is required to delve into the audio to solve the puzzle. This unique dynamic will narrow the appeal for the mainstream, but for those who are part of the target demographic it will be a chance to flex ones muscles as a Pro Tools Poirot or Cubase Columbo.

In an age where games are heavily judged on graphics, Phonopath turns this all on its head and approaches the puzzle genre from an entirely unique angle. I'm off home right now to whip out my laptop and get online. If I'm not in work on Monday then I'm probably still looking for the meaning of life in a wav file. Enjoy!


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