iFanzine Presents: The 2011 iOS Developer Achievements

Achievement for Outstanding Original Soundtrack
Co-Winner: Josh Whelchel
, for the Ravenmark OST
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2011 was nothing short of a blowout year for mobile game soundtracks. Never before has it been so clear that we’re leaving behind the age of tinny, swift-looping clips as a new generation of expert composers step up to fill the musical needs of a maturing industry. Sharing top honors this year in our reckoning is Josh Whelchel, whose work on Ravenmark still has us grooving to a martial ensemble of horns, drums and violins that will forever stand out as a classic among videogame scores. Hey, don’t just take our word for it: give it a listen yourself!

Co-Winner: Sean Beeson, for the Dangerous OST
Related Article: iFanzine Review

2010 saw Sean Beeson delivering a truly stirring orchestral score for the high-seas adventure Steam Pirates, and this year’s work on the Dangerous soundtrack proves there’s no limit to the range of film-quality tracks this composer can cook up. A sci-fi extravaganza made-to-order, the Dangerous score serves up everything from the subtle-yet-evocative to the driving orchestral to the full-blown space circus. Check out samples on the soundtrack’s very own iTunes page!

Co-Winner: David Ari Leon, for the Contre Jour OST
Related Article: iFanzine Review

The sheer beauty of Contre Jour’s piano solos are enough to bring any grown adult to tears. Go ahead, we dare you to listen to the samples without a box of tissues at the ready! David Ari Leon may be better known for bombastic Marvel superhero themes, but we daresay these heartstring-tugging tracks pack the most wallop of any he’s brought us yet. Doubtless there isn’t one fan of the game who doesn’t remember its music just as vividly as its superb level design.

Runners-Up: Andrea Chang and Joey Grady, for the Mage Gauntlet Score
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If the Ravenmark soundtrack feels like a reunion of Hitoshi Sakimoto and Masaharu Iwata, then the Chang-Grady score for Mage Gauntlet certainly invokes the spirit of Michiru Yamane. You can feel it in the electric guitar-infused boss theme, the soulful ambient tracks, and in the jazzy opulence of Tetramont’s Estate. We can’t claim to remember the names of many locales we’ve visited in the tons of Action RPGs we’ve played over the years, but Mage Gauntlet‘s stages have a way of sticking in your memory thanks to these seriously catchy tunes!

Runner-Up: Silas Jackson, for the GravCat Score
Related Article: iFanzine Review

Monster Robot Studios’ second outing impressed us in more ways than one, but the game’s brilliant music certainly rivals its gravity-defying antics and the feline astronaut’s Weegee gaze as the most memorable part of the player’s experience. Boasting a mix of electronica, light chorus, traditional instruments, and even the occasional turntable scratch, it’s the kind of score that should be unworkably eclectic, yet some mysterious gravity melds it into an organic and incredibly catchy whole. We can haz soundtrack release?

Runners-Up: Project HIPKI, for the Jelly Defense OST
Related Article: iFanzine Review

Sean found the “Donkey Meadows” stage theme in Jelly Defense so infectious that he set the game on pause and listened to it while writing the entire review — and judging from the number of requests Infinite Dreams received for a soundtrack release, he wasn’t the only one so stricken! Thankfully you can now listen to this bizarre and bizarrely addictive soundtrack on iTunes! (Psst — HIPKI has also uploaded the whole thing to their Youtube channel too).