PixelJunk 4am Preview

Your own personal Baiyon simulator.

When you first pick up the PlayStation Move controller to play PixelJunk 4AM, there doesn't seem to be a whole lot to do. Sure, the visualizer is flying at you and there's a nice sound coming out of your speakers, but... where do you go from here?

That's what I asked Dylan Cuthbert and Baiyon as they started their demo of the "game" at GDC 2012. Baiyon pushed the Circle button on the Move controller and then felt around the in a oval for a vibration from the controller. Once he started getting feedback, he held the trigger and pull the controller in the opposite direction.

As if he were conducting the electronic music coming from the TV with a baton, a beat in the back track came to the forefront. Hitting the triangle button and repeating the action brought a little high-hat into the mix. Suddenly, a deep house track came to life in front of my eyes and ears.

You really can't call PixelJunk 4AM a "game." Instead, the most appropriate title came from Dylan Cuthbert after I pushed the pair on how technical tools create a very experimental and artistic music experience. The developers behind 4AM at Q! Games called it an instrument you'll learn as you play.

If you've ever picked up a trumpet or a violin, you probably made god awful music that no one would want to listen to. That's kind of how I felt once I took over the controls. A quick tutorial and I started to find sounds I wanted to bring forward before switching visuals and experiement with a new mix of sounds.


More importantly, you can leave the creative aspect to others who are constantly streaming their creations to viewers on the PlayStation Network. Even better, the view-only mode will be free to everyone with a PSN account, so sit back, drop some ecstasy, and enjoy the beats and tracks from your favorite 4AM composer.

I might not feel comfortable performing for the whole world, but if I'm sitting at home, doing chores, or reading a book, loading up PixelJunk 4AM and letting a totally organic soundtrack fill the house will be a very addictive way to pass the time.