Different Ways Jazz Has Been Integrated into Gaming
Jazz isn’t as closely associated with gaming as other musical genres like rock. However, there have been some fantastic games that make good use of a swinging soundtrack that matches the action perfectly, so what are the best games where you can put some jazz into your gaming?
Grim Fandango Mixes Mexican Folk and Jazz
Released in 1998 by LucasArts, this game is highly regarded among music fans and gamers alike. Based on the Mexican Day of the Dead tradition, it features Manny Calavera solving puzzles to help a new arrival. The game stands out visually due to the way that the Aztec afterlife mythology has been crossed with a film noir look that brings to mind classic movies like Casablanca.
Despite many people calling it one of the best video games ever made, it wasn’t a huge commercial success, and some critics suggested that this showed that adventure games of this type were quickly losing their appeal. Yet, it still stands out as having an incredible soundtrack that mixes Latin American folk music with big band jazz to stunning effect, and Marek Domagała of Gamemusic confirms that the choice of jazz fits the soundtrack well.
The Grim Fandango soundtrack was sold as a music album featuring 32 tracks over 43 minutes, although the music in the game runs over more than three hours. Peter McConnell composed this music, creating a loose, swinging vibe that mixes San Francisco jazz musicians with a Mariachi band. It won the Game Sports award for Best PC Music in 1998 and even now stands the test of time both in the game and as a series of stand-alone tracks.
The Big Easy Focuses on New Orleans
The Big Easy slot by Spielo takes us on an adventure in New Orleans, with many of the symbols showing the city’s musical heritage with the likes of trumpet players, saxophones, and singers. It also features some of the famous cuisine from New Orleans, such as lobsters, but it’s the music that really sets the scene, with a smooth soundtrack playing over the game. This game can be seen in online casinos like WynnBet and, as Riku of BonusFinder explains, this casino will soon be launched in West Virginia. They’re predicting a casino bonus of up to $1,000 for the new players who join once launched. The Big Easy is already included in their games collection in other states, and this preview for West Virginia mentions other titles such as Cleopatra Gold and Da Vinci Diamonds as being among the top games expected in the Mountain State.
L.A. Noire Is Inspired by the 1940s
Brought out by Rockstar Games in 2011, L.A. Noire is a detective story set in Los Angeles in the 1940s. With an open-world setting to be explored and several cases to be investigated, L.A. Noire was so cinematic that it was the first video game to get selected for the Tribeca Film Festival. Hilary Goldstein of IGN points out that the game has captivating interrogation dialog scenes at its core.
The reception was positive, as fans loved the gameplay and setting, with good reviews helping it to sell four million units in the first month. As for the music, the original score by Andrew and Simon Hale was all about setting the mood. The music fitted in perfectly with the game, and the soundtrack was also released on its own. There was even an L.A. Noire Remixed soundtrack that had six jazz classics that had been remixed by present-day DJs for a different feel.
These games we’ve looked at help to show us the different ways that jazz music can be woven into gaming. If you love jazz and games, they give you the easiest ways to transport yourself into a different world where this type of music takes over.