Welcome to Morning Music, Kotaku’s daily hangout for folks who love video games and the cool-ass sounds they make. Today, we’re heading into the office in Going Under, a roguelite dungeon crawler where work is hell.
Going Under (playlist / longplay) is a game about navigating the hellscape of working in America. In Going Under, the heroine Jackie is an intern for the meal-replacement-in-a-can start-up Fizzle. Jackie is overworked, terribly unpaid, and forced to spend her days not marketing Fizzle, but battling the cursed employees of failed start-ups whose offices lie rotting in Fizzle’s basements. Cheery stuff, right? And yet despite the grim subject material, Going Under’s soundtrack is full of lo-fi, chill-tempo music that’s ironically perfect to work to.
Give a hear-sy:
Aggro Crab (YouTube)
I wonder if composer King Felix (not to be confused with the LA DJ) was intentional about that, as his soundtrack is perfect for putting on ahead of a long stretch of work. I tend to eschew music when I write. I talk out loud to myself, read, and reread, and music is another sound getting in the way of hearing the words I’m writing. But for some reason, Going Under’s soft, synthy vibes aren’t distracting to my process. As I’m writing this, “Make Your Dreams Fizzle” is playing and I’m making pretty good progress.
King Felix is clever in his design, the music fits well with the theme of each dungeon. The Winkydink dungeon—my favorite so far—is based around a dating app where you can only communicate in emoji. “Talk is Cheap,” the dungeon’s main track, has this soft and sensual vibe that gels well with a labyrinth filled with eggplant and peach emojis and scantily clad demons.
Its boss-fight tracks tend to be more upbeat, but still wouldn’t sound out of place in one of those 3-million-year-long YouTube streams that’s just an anime girl doing homework or whatever. “Hand Over Fist,” the boss track for Winkydink, incorporates Japanese shamisen sounds over a sinister organ motif that reminds me of something from Castlevania—again, clever, since this dungeon has you fight sexy succubi and their minions of indeterminate origin.
Most of Going Under’s tracks have the right amount of low-tempo vibes to work to distraction-free, but there are also a few straight-up bangers that make you want to get out of your office chair and dance on your desk.
I enjoyed the hell out of Going Under. It’s a neat, little dungeon crawler with bops that make me forget I’m playing a game about the horrors of start-up culture, with its flashy open-floor plan offices, swanky juice bars, and nary an affordable healthcare plan in sight.
That’s it for today’s Morning Music! How are you? Hopefully the vibes herein will provide the perfect soundtrack for your workday and if not, tell me below what you like to listen most while working. Cheers!