Screenshot from Rez (2001) by United Game Artists/SEGA

The audio game REZ, developed in remarkable style by Tetsuya Mizuguchi and United Games Artists, refers quite unequivocally to the production principles of electronic contemporary music. Unlike in the majority of rhythm games, the player does not have to adapt exclusively to a given rhythm, but rather the music emerges through playing a shooting game. In the background of each level there is a basic rhythmic structure of beats, over which shots fired by the players trigger various sound and visual effects that merge into the totality of the audiovisual level. This results in an immersive experience following the principles of synchresis. In addition, there is a play mode, the so-called travel mode, that liberates the player from the classic principles of the shooter game (the avatar is indestructible in this state), concentrating the focus entirely on the musical side of the game. The game’s developer Tetsuya Mizuguchi cites Wassily Kandinsky and techno music as his most important sources of inspiration. The musical rhythmic structure of the game is conceptually influenced by the call-response form that represents a central moment of African singing practice.[1] Through the interplay between the interactive call-response structure that is causally inherent to digital games, and the corresponding musical principle, the producers of REZ have created a highly original audiovisual system. Based on the success of the first edition, an HD version, REZ-HD, was recently published for the Microsoft X-Box 360 and the Sony Playstation 3.


  • original Title: Rez
  • Date: 2001 –
  • Genre: Video game

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