Punk-o-matic Game

Punkomatic – Churning out a punk song with a handy multi-track sequencer armed with presets has never been easier

You think Punk’s Dead, Punk?

Punk? Isn’t that genre dead or something? Well, aside from the fact that such a statement would make Johnny Rotten turn in his grave in advance of his demise, punk really isn’t dead. Actually, it is still very much alive, only people choose to ignore its existence due to harsh tones, hastily-written riffs, and the general pseudo-anarchic mumblings of a lead singer who can’t actually sing but rather grunt occasionally in the right key. Still, when games like Punkomatic present themselves to the internet, you can’t help but accept the style of music involved just so you can have the opportunity to immerse yourself in the insanely fun nature of what it has to offer. Forget that it’s all about punk for a second and remember that that this game is actually a step sequencer of sorts, only the beats and guitar riffs are pre-recorded and you must simply layer them in your own way to create a song of your own design. Sounds pretty fun, no?

Nurturing Creativity (As Long as it’s Punk)

Well, fun is exactly what this little game is all about. Rather than a “game” of sorts where there is an ultimate goal that everyone will reach and a pre-prescribed progression that the player must take, Punkomatic really leaves the whole thing up to you, within the confines of the content it has, that is. This content consists of a variety of drum parts and guitar riffs that all fit together in one way or another and must be placed on a musical timeline that looks a little like a step sequencer. You’ll see the drum and guitar sections layered on top of each other with a load of squares sitting horizontally across the screen; these squares represent time in a standard 4/4 time signature and must be filled with music. Clicking on each of the squares brings up a number, each of which corresponding to a pre-recorded sound clip of either guitar or drums. Each of these parts differs in length as well, you simply have to make them fit onto the timeline and click play to hear your very own musical creation.

As unusual as it sounds for a flash-based “game”, Punkomatic is essentially just a sequencer that caters exclusively for fans of punk music. You can layer different parts on top of each other, change them at your leisure, and even mute/unmute each of the tracks as you please in order to hear them playing on their own. Though it doesn’t have the freedom of a step sequencer such as Step Seq., it allows for instantaneous creation of unique punk songs.

A Design for Greatness

The game’s design is actually quite well-thought out for an original game in a series, and compared to the very basic nature of the original Super Crazy Guitar Maniac Deluxe this game is actually a work of art. The band members play underneath the sequencer when you press the play button, and in spite of a few rough edges, it has a professional feel to it that many flash games of the music genre don’t have.

Of course, the game is quite limited in the sense that those who don’t like punk aren’t likely to enjoy the exclusively punk-based riffs and beats involved in this game. There could be more layers of instruments involved as well which would make the game a little more varied. Overall, this game offers a unique experience and the developers Evil Dog ensured that the voice narration in the game is as humorous as can be and actually sounds like someone’s fairly decent attempt at impersonating Nicolas Cage who in turn is playing as Castor Troy in the film Face Off – that’s a fair bit of layering, even if it is entirely accidental. Thumbs up are most definitely in order for such an original concept, one which is also greatly improved upon in the sequel, Punkomatic 2.