If there's one question that humanity tries to answer since the beginning, it is "Can it run DOOM?". When people fail to answer this one, they go from a more simple one: "Where we came from?" How the universe started, how life came to be, what was the first step? Everyone believes in a different theory, but The Lullaby of Life tells us that it all started... with a particle and a sound wave. I'm not smart enough to prove its truthfulness, but I can say how this theory turned into a beautiful and fun puzzle game.

There's no complex lore in the game created by the Mexican team at 1 Simple Game: you are literally a particle in what seems to be the primordial soup that gave origin to life at Earth billions of years in the past. But, instead of just being a set of atoms living in the universe, you rapidly conquer the special power of producing sound waves, that are mapped to 3 different buttons in your controller (or keyboard) and 3 different symbols in your "body".

You also start to befriend smaller particles that can only produce a single sound, but can follow you to desbrave the unknown if you help them. Every sound has an unique symbol attached to it, what's great for readability and accessibility.

The Lullaby of Life

Although the game sells itself as a "musical game", I think it makes more sense of talking about The Lullaby of Life as a puzzle game about sound waves. Yes, each note you produce using the particles creates a bit of melody, but you will always be more focused on seeing how the waves are propagating than the music itself. Every level is sort of a maze, where you main goal is to fully awaken a "creature" call Dormant Elder. In a way or another, all the obstacles can be solved or traversed using the sounds you have at your disposal in the order shown at the screen.

For example, a common puzzle in The Lullaby of Life is finding a closed passage that requests a sound different than those three default ones you have in your particle. You then need to navigate the level, find a companion and use the sounds indicated by their symbols to awaken them. At this time, they follow you, and you can use the fourth button in the controller to use their sound and open the passage. This simple lock-and-key mechanic is the basis for all the gameplay and gets more complex and layered in later levels.

The Lullaby of Life

Although the concept feels too primitive (heh), the way the game use it as a foundation to show new mechanics and build complexity from the combination of those factors is really cool to experience. Right at the beginning, for example, you can encounter some objects that looks like guitar strings that can be used to resonate sounds in unreachable places. This idea is used a lot since this moment, and it's always from a different and interesting perspective, as a lot of other concepts introduced during the levels.

I loved how visually The Lullaby of Life goes full on abstract instead of trying to be scientific and inspired by chemistry. Specially when looking into the start of the universe from the lens of a singing particle, I want to see a world that blooms different colors, shapes and eyes. If the universe is infinite (at least on potential), representing it as a strange and different place is the best way to go for me.

Except for a small part at the middle of the game (when it becomes an action sequence for no reason), The Lullaby of Life creates a relaxing and interesting experience from a concept that could easily be boring or repetitive. Of course, the overall complexity of the puzzles aren't that big — puzzle experts will definitely find the game too easy —, but the devs found a good balance between a challenge that is relaxing without getting frustrating or monotonous. This probably isn't how life came to be, but following the sound waves of those abstract mazes was a cool experience.

The team behind this game sent me a press key so I could play it and write my review. Thanks for the trust!