99 Levels to Hell Soundtrack, Dalle Oldman, 2013
Dalle Oldman’s 99 Levels to Hell soundtrack release could have only happened in the age of self-distributed digital album. Few music labels would have been willing to release a 78-minute album for a game of 99 Levels’s low profile. After all, this was an indie, 2d platforming rogue-like à la Spelunky that generally received good, but not enthusiastic reviews. It’s even less likely that a physical album release of 99 Levels to Hell’s music would have been as extensive as the digital release that ultimately came to be.
It’s now a trend among composers to cram every single note written for a project on their digital soundtrack albums. Usually, this makes for an uneven, sometimes painfully drawn out listening experience. Unfortunately, 99 Levels to Hell is guilty of this sin as well. The album’s entire second half is a collection of cliché-ridden, bland sound collages filled with little more than eerie noises. Unfortunately, these dark ambient level tracks inspire boredom much more than they suggest tension or anxiety.