The Music Machine has you playing as a ghost called Quintin who has possessed the body of his eccentric 13-year-old friend Haley. His intention is to find a satisfactory way of killing her. Yeah, pretty grim – their relationship is described as being complicated. “This dubious quest has led them to a mysterious abandoned island, where several people were recently murdered. And where, among the rotting cabins and dense trees, a strange new building hides a bizarre secret…” reads the game’s description.
As with Szymanski’s previous games The Moon Sliver and Fingerbones, the horror in The Music Machine comes from the story and atmosphere rather than jump scares or chase sequences. In fact, the plot here expands upon the one in The Moon Sliver. Enhancing the creepiness is the game’s stylistic monochrome art style, that brings with it a heavy contrast between dark and light.
The game itself is a mix of non-linear exploration, puzzle solving, and narrative storytelling. It also has a soundtrack that emits mystery and unease and that you can purchase here.