I Can't Stop Listening To This iPhone Game's Amazing Music

You guys. Time Surfer. It's this game? It's a lot of fun. Part of what makes it fun is how well it controls, how colorful it is, and the general feeling of momentum it imparts. And the time-travel part; that's cool too.


Those are all reasons to like the game, but the music is the reason I love it. Composed by Nathan Antony, the Time Surfer soundtrack is more than just a single piece of music—it's a journey. The thing clocks in at just under ten minutes, which is a surprising length for any single piece of video game music.

Games like this, which are commonly called "endless runners," need a great soundtrack. The tune in the background is what drives you forward, and makes up a large part in the game's identity. Given the repetitive nature of runners, you're going to hear the music a lot, and so the composer had better bring something memorable. Many of the best games in the genre, games like Canabalt and Jetpack Joyride, have great tunes behind them. Robot Unicorn Attack used "Always" by Erasure, and that certainly worked in the game's favor.

But man, Antony's work on Time Surfer... it's an opus. Give it a spin, preferably with headphones or with the speakers turned up. This music keeps giving and giving, with new moods and colors dropping as fast as the Time Surfer himself leaps from planet to planet. My favorite part is the key-change at 3:50, when it goes FULL-ON DANCE PARTY. If you're in a really good groove when that music comes on, hitting all the slopes just so, it's impossible not to start grinning. I also enjoy the three-note motif at 6:02, which sounds for all the world like a nod to John Williams' Alan Silvestri's Back to the Future theme. (And, given that the game itself features a time-traveling DeLorean, it's not too much of a stretch to imagine it was deliberate.)

I've asked Antony where people can buy or download his music (his website is still under construction), and will update when I hear back. (Update: It took a little while, but you can now download the soundtrack at Bandcamp.) In the meantime, give it a listen here, and really, go drop a buck on the game. The music is even better when you're surfing to it.



People that listen to this have some kind of nerdism issue, reminds me of my friend who would listen to 8bit music on his iPod and wondered why people didn't take him serious.