Not many opera companies have ventured on to the App Store, but London’s Royal Opera House has and the result is something unexpected: not a listings app, not a tickets app, not anything you’d normally associate with opera. It’s a game. And it’s great.
The Show Must Go On puts you in charge of a typical opera production, which is a great deal more complicated than you might think. There’s a lot more to opera than people singing.
All of which led us to the conclusion that rather than make a game about the people on the stage, we should make one about the people behind it. That we should celebrate the titanic efforts that go into a perfect show. That we could play on the jeopardy, pressure and excitement of the clock ticking toward curtain up.
The whole thing’s done with style and lots of humor. Pick a show to stage – at first you only get The Marriage of Figaro, but you can unlock more shows later. Within a show, there are a series of minigames to play. You might have to control the stage lights, help with the costumes, build the sets. Whatever the task, it’ll usually result in a fast-paced challenge for your brain and your fingers.
When you’ve completed the minigames, you get to see the show. The better you did, the more polished the performance. If you didn’t score well, it ends up becoming a hilarious unintentional farce.
Here’s a trailer to give you a better idea:
I love this game, particularly the sounds and music. While you’re playing, you hear the normal sounds you’d hear backstage in an opera house – hand tools making a buzz, singers practicing their scales, directors giving orders. There are also snippets of music to get you in the mood.
The opera theme is fun and different, but you don’t need to be an opera lover to enjoy this game. It’s got something for everyone. Right now it’s selling at half the usual price, so grab it cheap while you’ve got the chance.