Incredibox is a musical beatbox game and website developed and published by the French company So Far So Good. The concept is simple and consists of drag-and-dropping sound icons onto different characters to do beatbox. The player can find combos to unlock animated bonuses and record mixes to integrate a ranking. An automatic mode is also available to generate an endless composition of randomness.
Part game, part tool, part toy, Incredibox is a music-making app in which the user can create a mix by managing a group of beatboxers with comically oversized lips. Once one of the available versions (or styles) has been chosen, the player is confronted with an interface made up of seven blank characters and twenty sound icons. These icons are divided into the following categories (five for each of them): beats, effects, melodies and voices. Each icon is a unique a cappella sound loop that, when dropped onto the blank characters, dresses them in a range of hats, sunglasses, masks, headphones or other items and lets them sing in rhythm with each other. The player can fine tune their mix by swapping sounds in and out, muting sounds, doing a solo on one sound, and finding combos to unlock animated bonuses. All these interactions can be recorded and the final mix shared on social media via an URL. Then contributors can listen and vote their favorite tracks all the way to the Top 50 chart of Incredibox. And for those who just want to listen to an endless mix, an automatic mode can play the loops of each version at random.
The game was originally released as a flash game for web browsers on August 16, 2009. It was later released as an iOS mobile app for the iPad on March 27, 2016. The app was then updated on September 19 of that year, so that it now runs on both the iPad and the iPhone. The game was then made available for Android users and released on Google Play on December 15, 2017. A desktop version of the game was released on the Mac App Store on November 15, 2018, on the Microsoft Store on December 5, 2018, and on Steam on April 30, 2021.
The game contains nine versions that players can choose from. Each version has a different musical style with a special theme to it.
- The first version of Incredibox was originally released online as a flash game on August 16, 2009. Years later, a remake of the original flash game was released under a new name, Alpha. It first became available on the Incredibox website on June 26, 2018, and was later added to their mobile apps on September 26.
- Little Miss is the second version of Incredibox that was released in March 2012. This theme is inspired by hip hop music.
- Sunrise is the third version of Incredibox that was released in October 2013. This theme is inspired by electro-pop music. It is the first version of the game to add colors to distinguish between categories, with each character having a unique item and outfit.
- The Love is the fourth version of Incredibox that was released in November 2014. This theme is inspired by French house.
- Brazil is the fifth version of Incredibox that was released on May 26, 2016. This theme is inspired by Brazilian music.
- Alive is the sixth version of Incredibox that was released on March 6, 2018. The theme is inspired by Japanese culture, with elements of modern rap/hip hop music.
- Jeevan is the seventh version of Incredibox that was released in June 24, 2019. This theme is inspired by traditional Indian music.
- Dystopia is the eighth version of Incredibox that was released on December 1st, 2020. This theme is inspired by Cyberpunk culture.
- Wekiddy is the ninth version of Incredibox that was released on April 29th, 2023. This theme is inspired by 90's hip hop and street rap.
Since its release in 2009, the game has won several awards and has been highly praised by outlets such as BBC and Kotaku for its simplistic gameplay, appealing artwork, and fantastic music-making capabilities. Such success on The Internet has led to the game receiving custom versions made in collaboration with other brands including:
- Mix For Peace, a partnership with AXE for the Axe Boat festival which came out in July of 2014. This version was exclusive to France, had only one bonus, and served as a Spiritual Predecessor to the fourth version, The Love.
- Bite Sized Beats, a partnership with M&M's that had the normal characters removed and replaced with the 6 M&Ms spokescandies. They had their own beats, effects, melodies, and voices, resulting in a total of 24 unique sounds. This version had two unique bonuses, with the second featuring Jessie J and her song "Real Deal". This version was exclusive to the United States.
On September 20th, 2019, the team released Incredibox - 10th Anniversary, an album featuring remastered and remixed versions of the game's first 7 versions made in celebration of the game's 10th birthday. In addition to digital, it was released on CD and vinyl and came with some exclusive goodies. Another album, titled The Unreleased, was released on October 1st, 2021 and consists of nine never-before-seen tracks used during the game's development phases.
Lastly, a version for use in schools (aptly titled Incredibox for schools) was released on February 3rd, 2022 and is free of ads.
You can watch the official 2012 demo trailer for the game here and the 2018 trailer here.
This game (and its numerous versions) provide examples of:
- A Cappella: You don't need real instruments to make a song in Incredibox.
- All There in the Script: None of the characters' names are mentioned in-game, but their names are revealed in the game's internal data.
- Art Evolution: The Original (aka Everything), the prototype version of Incredibox which was made in Adobe Flash, has stiffer character animation, and the singers look noticeably different than the ones in Alpha.
- Bilingual Bonus: The voices and bonuses in the versions Brazil and Jeevan all sing in Brazilian Portuguese and Hindi respectively, which make sense since those versions are inspired by Brazilian and Indian culture. However, translations for these can be found here and here.
- Bowdlerise: Incredibox for schools depicts the blank Incredimen wearing white tank tops◊ rather than being shirtless.
- Christmas Episode: Little Miss had a Christmas variant released on December 21st, 2012. It was mostly the same, but gave the characters Santa hats, turned the background gold, and had a snow effect playing in the background.note
- Color-Coded for Your Convenience: The beats, effects, melodies and voices are given different colors to distinguish them in most versions.note
- In Sunrise, the beats are green, the effects are blue, the melodies are red, and the voices are yellow.
- In The Love, the beats are yellow, the effects are blue, the melodies are mostly clad in red, and the voices are purple with golden accessories.
- In Brazil, the beats are yellow and green, the effects are blue with yellow head and neckwear, the melodies are green with some red here and there, and the voices don red with some blue paint.
- In Alive, the beats are blue and red, the effects are purple and orange, the melodies are red and blue, and the voices are orange and blue.
- In Jeevan, the beats are orange and green, the effects are red and gold, the melodies are blue and red, and the voices are green and purple.
- Deliberately Monochrome: Played straight with Alpha and Little Miss, in which all of the singers are black and white with no colors distinguishing the beats, effects, melodies and voices. Subverted with the other versions, though, in which the blank Incredimen remain monochrome while the outfits are colored.
- Early-Installment Weirdness: The Original, where do we even begin?
- For starters, it was made in Adobe Flash as mentioned above, which resulted in the animation being rather stiff.
- Additionally, the general layout of the game was vastly different. The player had only 14 sounds to choose from (the current versions each have 20 sounds) and they were categorized into 5 groups: Instruments, percussions, effects, chorus, and voices. The bonus and shuffle mode buttons were listed on the bottom alongside the sounds rather than near the top.
- The bonuses themselves are also strange in regards to how they are now.
- The player could click on their icons to play them whenever they pleased without the need for a specific combination of sounds to access them.
- None of the beatboxers are present in them, but instead a weird, bulbous guy◊ who (if the order of the bonuses is any indication) died and ascended to heaven after drowning at the sea due to making a wrong turn on a snowy night, all set to beautiful and cheery acapella music!
- Ink-Suit Actor: The characters are drawn to resemble Paul Malburet (aka Incredible Polo), who provides all of the game's vocals.
- Non-Standard Character Design:
- The second beat from Dystopia, Tuctom, is a box-shaped robot reminiscent of HAL 9000, unlike almost every other character in the game.
- The second melody from Wekiddy is literally an arcade cabinet (aptly named "D. Invaders") on which a reenactment of the "Zemetekile" bonus from Dystopia is playing.
- Portmantitle: The game's name is a fusion of the words incredible and beatbox.
- Reality Has No Subtitles: No in-game translations are provided for the Portuguese and Hindi lyrics present in Brazil and Jeevan.
- The Love features two helmets clearly based off of the Daft Punk duo Guy-Manuel and Thomas. Fitting, since it's a French house based version.
- Wekiddy contains a slew of references to 90's culture, with one character looking like a Furby and another designed after a Gundam robot.
- Video Game Remake: Alpha is the remake of the original flash game with improved sound and design of the characters and bonuses with some new characters.
- World Tour: Three versions of the game take inspiration from different countries: Brazil (Brazil), Japan (Alive) and India (Jeevan).