How do you turn music making into a game? DETUNE found a way!
When I try to explain the concept behind KORG Gadget, the majority look utterly bewildered at what I'm saying. The usage of a DAW (Digital Audio Workstation), isn't something most people are familair with. With titles like KORG M01D, DETUNE changed the way we look at the Nintendo 3DS. Now with KORG Gadget, they are literally changing music making into a co-op experience.
Compared to their previous outings on Nintendo systems, KORG Gadget throws out the old rulebook . The software offers 16 different musical gadgets to interact and make sounds with. This ranges from a synthesizer that imititates that classic 8-bit sound to full on drum modules. Each have their specific themes and way of operation that changes the way you interact. The 8-bit synthesizer comes with a large number of classic notes, and is even based on Namco's CUSTOM30 sound generator. The engineering behind it is quite impressive.
Compared to other versions of KORG Gadget, the process of making songs is a lot more fun too. I was able to use either controllers or touchscreen with utter ease. While touchscreen speaks for itself, the option to use buttons is completely new here. With a number of handy shortcuts and optional motion controls, the interaction with the interface felt game like. By holding the + button you flip between screens and make adjustments on the fly.
The game aspects of KORG Gadget haven't gone unnoticed by its developers. The Nintendo Switch version allows you to make songs with three friends, making your project quite the collaborative effort. While that might sound hectic on paper, I really didn't have any issues here. Every player is clearly marked with a different color and it is not hard to identify each other's parts in the creative process. It is a wonderfully odd multiplayer experience that I can't get enough of.
With that all being said, KORG Gadget for Nintendo Switch isn't the ultimate version of the software. Compared to the full-featured versions the amount of available gadgets is sliced roughly in half, something I found slightly underwhelming. Beyond that, there is no way for you to import or export creations. The only way you can share your efforts is by sending it locally to another Switch user. That is nice, but truthfully really far from anything ideal.
Despite some major flaws, I really enjoyed tinkering with KORG Gadget. The sheer amount of options on each gadget is staggering, and allows you to make something fun. The fact you can play locally with up to four people is mindboggling, but pretty awesome all the same. Add to this the easy to learn interface, and you got something bold on your hands. This doesn't excuse to lack of sharing or the reduced gadget amount, but it makes it a bit easier to swallow.