In the words of Pierre Robert over at 933 WMMR, “God bless the Grateful Dead”. Around the Philadelphia region you’ve likely heard the man say those words. While not a big Dead Head myself, I do enjoy their crazy sounds. Even before their video game debut on Rock Band as a giant DLC pack, I was listening to Franklin’s Tower and China Cat. Even if the band isn’t you cup of tea, you can’t deny their impact on music, rock and roll, and the 70′s and 80′s.
They’ve always had a unique style to their songs and a fantastic set of art to go along with it. It’s very trippy stuff but in an art sense it is very vibrant and thought provoking if you really look at it all. So what happens when you take all that crazy art, cool jams, legendary live sets, and add some 2D platforming to it? You get The Epic Tour game. Built from the ground up with the help of the Dead’s fanbase, The Epic Tour brings a fun journey to your browser as you listen to music tracks, blast away at enemies, collect seeds, and find hidden portals that even take you to the tour videos highlighted by the game. Fans voted during a series of polls and after 30,000 votes the developer, Curious Sense, compiled a list of ten amazing Grateful Dead shows to use as the game’s stages.
The game may not be much of a challenge but as a quick time waster, the platforming will keep you involved enough. You collect seeds to shoot at enemies and Buds. You have to shoot the Buds to fill up your meter. Until that meter hits a certain margin, you can’t journey through the portal at the end of the tour stage. Throughout the stage you’ll find symbols that when shot with seeds you can change the music played in the background. Of course the music is Grateful Dead tracks. Simple but engrossing thanks to the vibrant art and background music. The Dead really does give off a nice melodic, smooth, and calm feeling that just makes you chill out and play.
Right now you’ll find four tour stages that employ some pretty fun platforming, music, and hidden portals that culminate in a short but sweet on-rails stage that highlight the art. Curious Sense is bringing more content next month and that will continue until all 10 of the fan picked tours are finished. The Epic Tour brings the Grateful Dead’s history in a cool, simple 2D platformer. Below is a piece from the team about the launch of the game:
Developed in partnership with the Grateful Dead and Rhino Entertainment by digital product development studio Curious Sense, the much anticipated “The Epic Tour” allows players to create and personalize dancing bear characters and enter a fantastical world inspired by the deeply revered cache of music and imagery of the legendary band.
In “The Epic Tour,” players explore immersive environments on an adventure through Grateful Dead time and space, avoiding obstacles, collecting items, uncovering artifacts, and eventually making their way to some of the Dead’s most legendary concerts.
Curious Sense developed the online experience through crowdsourcing – creating a website in which Grateful Dead fans browsed a catalog of more than 2,500 Grateful Dead concerts, voting for shows they deemed “epic.” After collecting more than 30,000 votes over a period of two months, the fans’ top ten Grateful Dead shows were announced, and those ten concerts will make up the destinations in “The Epic Tour.”