Last week, word of a new Harmonix project surfaced in the form of a Game Developers Conference session listing titled "Your Music is the Game: Designing the OTHER Project at Harmonix." The session description mentioned that the game would bring the developer's trademark beat-matching gameplay (as seen in Amplitude, Frequency, and the Guitar Hero series) with procedurally generated note charts to a "new and uniquely cool platform."
Today, Harmonix not only officially announced the game, but also released it. Currently available for the iPod Nano, iPod Classic, and fifth-generation iPods, Phase allows players to play a simple beat-matching game with the media player's clickwheel while listening to a special "Phase Music" playlist. Said playlist must be manually created in iTunes because the game cannot automatically draw from a user's music library.
The game takes songs between 30 seconds and 30 minutes in length that are stored in .MP3, .M4A, or .M4P file formats, and converts the music into a playable level. The game also comes with a handful of tracks already on it, including songs from Harmonix favorites Freezepop and Bang Camaro.
Players can play one song at a time or five-song minimarathons, and high scores are stored on the iPod for bragging rights. Phase is available on the iTunes music store for $4.99.
This is not the first such iPod game to incorporate a user's music library into the gameplay. In August, NanaOn-Sha, developer of PaRappa the Rapper and Vib Ribbon, released musika, which based its gameplay on the names of tracks on the user's iPod.