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The other day I bought Square-Enix’s Song Summoner: The Unsung Heroes, for the iPod (not the Touch or iPhone, the standard iPod). Mostly I was curious about how it would play. If you’re curious too, this post is for you.

Note this is NOT a review in any way, shape or form. I’ve only put 10-15 minutes into the game. This post is just about how to use the iPod input buttons to control a grid-based, turn-based, strategyRPG game.

Basically, everything boils down to spinning the outer wheel and pressing the center select button.

So to move a character into position and attack:

  • Spin the wheel to select one of your characters, hit the center button.
  • Spin the wheel to select Move from available actions (Move/Attack/Inventory/Status/etc) hit the center button
  • The map lights up with possible places to move to.
  • Spin the wheel and a highlight runs down each row of possible move spots. Get to the one you want to move to, and hit the center button to get the character to move.
  • Spin the wheel to select the Attack function, hit the center button
  • Spin the wheel to pick the enemy you want to attack, and finally hit the center button to perform the attack.

It all works pretty well aside from the actual picking a square to move to, which is a wee bit cumbersome. I’m not sure how they could’ve done it better, though.

I have fat thumbs and constantly move that outer wheel 1 ‘click’ when I hit the center button. I have this problem when selecting music, and have it when playing this game, so I get frustrated pretty quickly at the moment. Maybe with practice I’ll get better at it.

The premise is kind of fun. You create generate troops based on songs on your iPod through some mysterious algorithm (like the old Monster Rancher games that generated a creature based on a cd). As long as these troops are in your active party, they gain experience whenever you play the song they’re based on.

Unfortunately I almost never use my iPod to listen to music. I use it for podcasts mostly, and you can’t generate a troop from a podcast.

I personally don’t see myself playing this one much, but from a ‘gee whiz’ point of view, I find it pretty impressive that Square Enix could cram this much game into an iPod.

I’d love to hear from someone who both listens to a lot of music on their iPod, and who is playing this game seriously. I’d love to know how the gameplay holds up over time.



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