A few days ago, Dealspwn ground to a halt as us writers clustered around the warm, colourful glow of Rocket Riot. You might have expected us to have been enjoying the anarchic multiplayer modes of Codeglue's spectacular XBLA debut - or collaborating in a tense cooperative attempt to get ourselves its coveted You Can Handle The Riot achievement. Hell, you might have just expected my colleagues to be admiring how crap I am at the rugby challenges.
But no. We were listening to the Rocket Riot theme tune. Over... and over... and over again. Whilst dancing around like idiots.
Let me explain. Rocket Riot boasted an impeccable nu-retro style in every aspect of its presentation; including lavish sprites and destructible cover made from thousands of independent pixel blocks (bloxels?). But when it came to the soundtrack, SonicPicnic worked their little dutch socks off to create a truly exceptional set of musical interludes. Mixing classic chiptune vibes with pumping electronica was a great fit for the game - but when it comes right down to it, the theme is one of the most impressive pieces of videogame composition we've ever heard.
Not only is it a tub-thumping, fist-pounding, pop-locking feat of electronic awesomeness (with a ridiculous funk breakdown around 1:50), but it's got the lyrics to match. Truly, SonicPicnic have created a deep and meaningful context for the action - and so you can sing along, I've listed them here in full.
Retro’s never been old fashioned,
we are showing no compassion,
Here we go now, hold on tight!
Grab your jetpack and get with it,
wreck it, hit it, kill it, shoot it,
come on and let’s start the fight.
You had never so much fun,
killing meanies with your gun,
you like to shoot, so don’t deny it.
Shoot your weapon, and then reload,
till the last bit to explode
there’s no need to be polite.
Rocket Riot! Rocket Riot!
Can you analyse the lyrics? Maybe. They make a heartbreaking point about retro games being cutting edge at the time, and the lack of "compassion" sheds some light on a tortured, artistic soul behind the cheerful visuals. Are we shooting rockets, not to kill our enemies, but to purge our own inner demons and make peace with the futility of...
... haha, no. I can't keep a straight face. All I know is that this song is boss - and by extension, so are SonicPicnic and Codeglue.
While I've got you here, it's probably worth mentioning that Rocket Riot is absolutely brilliant - and the Windows Phone 7 version is nothing less than the system's killer app. It's essentially Angry Birds for windows handsets, and we'll soon have a review going live on Mobot.net (our young, attractive mobile sister). Tight controls, epic visuals and - of course - the outstanding soundtrack make for an exceptional mobile experience - and for £3.99, it's very, very difficult to fault.
So, ladies and gentlemen, that's why we love... Rocket Riot. And if there's any justice, so do you.