The City of Metronome is an unreleased Adventure game by Tarsier Studios, announced at E3 2005. Despite actually being the reason for the formation of Tarsier Studios in the first place, the studio was unable to find a publisher willing to take on the game, and it has thus-far been relegated to Vapor Ware. Tarsier would later go on to create the Little Nightmares series, the Spiritual Successor to The City of Metronome, incorporating atmospheric and design elements from the title.
From promotional materials and interviews, it is known that The City of Metronome would have starred a young train engineer-in-training named Ten and a mysterious girl named New. Set in the titular city of Metronome, ruled by the nebulous and likely villainous Corporation, the duo would have unraveled the secrets behind the Corporation's plans for the city and its inhabitants. Along the way, Ten would have been able to record and use sound to solve various puzzles and defeat the Corporation's Police Scouts.
The City of Metronome would have included:
- Always Night: All of the screenshots and scant gameplay take place at night, although promotional cover art for the game does show Ten being pursued by a Police Scout as the sun rises.
- Bizarrchitecture: Like Little Nightmares, promotional images and gameplay footage show towering, haphazard-looking structures looming over the streets of the city.
- Crapsack World: Metronome relies heavily on the use of metrognomes, the husks of children who have had their souls removed by having their pictures taken and their souls cut out. As for the souls, they are used to animate a variety of automatons, like the Police Scouts, as well as larger, more frightening creations like Hunter Scouts.
- Eternal Engine: Promotional materials make reference to the Corporation's discovery of a "wondrous machine capable of creating ideas and designs for world-building", which the entire city now exists to service for some unknown end.
- Magical Flutist: Trailers and Concept Art show a Pied Piper-like figure called Jinx, who has both a cat and a humanoid form.
- Mysterious Waif: New, the girl whom Ten meets on the train. Promotional materials indicate she has the ability to interfere with some of the technology used in the city, such as the voice recorders used to process train passengers.