Steve Kirk's Soundtrack For 'Bartlow's Dread Machine' Revisits 1907

Jul 23, 2020

Bartlow's Dread Machine screenshot
Credit steampowered.com

What if the very first "video game" was actually invented in 1907? That's the premise of Bartlow's Dread Machine, created by Beep Games and Tribetoy. Teddy Roosevelt has been kidnapped, and it's the player's mission to rescue him. Composer Steve Kirk says his inspiration for the rollicking soundtrack was a suprising combination of Ravel, Schubert and John Philip Sousa!

The studio behind the game even keeps their website true to the time, with "authentic" reviews from 1907 newspapers.

Steve says his biggest challenge with the soundtrack was sticking to the conventions of the period, which meant no use of synths, electric guitars or any other instruments that weren't around in 1907. Instead, he put together an ensemble that included accoustic drums, violins, winds and a banjo.

Bartlow's Dread Machine will be playable soon through Steam's Early Access, and is expected to be released for other platforms later this year. 

Steve says a soundtrack release is also in the works. 

Music used in this episode is from unreleased soundtrack cues used with permission from Steve Kirk. 

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Thanks to Dick Roberts for production assistance and Emily Morganti, Beep Games PR