Since I'm out of school for the summer I've had sounds turned on on my phone more often and I've started to notice the sound effects and soundtracks in games I usually only play on silent. This got me thinking about the usefulness of a soundtrack for a mobile game and how much effort people put into it. With our new game, Block'd, also close to competition all these new sounds I was hearing started to make me think about weather or not it would make sense for us to add some sound effects or even a little soundtrack to the game, or if its more trouble than it's worth.
Here are some quick observations I made about soundtracks and sound effects from a few games I've been playing recently. The first observation I had was about the game Duet, which I picked up as a Starbucks app of the week and have been moderately enjoying the past couple of weeks. This game, in my opinion has a really, really good soundtrack. In fact, I try to make a point of playing the game with the sound on because I like the soundtrack so much. It adds an extra layer to the game which makes it more enjoyable to play. So it's clear that a good soundtrack can help your game and is worth a the effort.
A second observation I made was about sound effects and their intermingling (so to speak) with the soundtrack of a game. While I was playing the game Color Zen I noticed that on their splash screen they have a little icon with headphones which I'm assuming means that they want you to play the game with headphones on because they took time to write a really good soundtrack and want you to hear it at the best quality possible (Duet does the same thing). However, while I was playing I could not pay attention to the soundtrack because of the over powering sound effects. Everytime you make a move in the game (which is quite often) a loud glass-like ding alerts you of your move and it really, really distracts from the actual soundtrack. This is especially disappointing because the soundtrack is very good I would like to listen to it with out the annoying interruptions of the sound effects. This is made even more disappointing by the fact that you can't turn off just the sound effects. You can turn off the music and leave the sound effects or turn off all the sounds, but you can't just turn off the sound effects.
The third observation I made was during my time playing the game Threes. What I noticed was that they had a relatively nice sound track that added to the game but it was very short. During an average play time of the game I would end up hearing the soundtrack repeat almost three times. This, in turn, led me to become some what annoyed with the soundtrack which would lead me to then turn the sounds off all together (also the sound effects got a little annoying after a while).
So I guess to sum things up a good sound track can definitely add to a game and if you think you can make a good one it's probably worth the time. While sound effects can add to a game it's important that they don't overkill the soundtrack and you should have options on what you want to hear. Finally if you do put the effort into making a soundtrack make sure that it's long enough to cover the entire length of time a person is going to be playing. (Plus if the sound track is really good you can turn it into an album and sell it on iTunes to make a little extra money)
Anyways. I hope you enjoyed and as always thanks for reading.