Composer World is a music-creation title for the Nintendo Switch. It takes the complex art of making music and attempts to simplify it into a game that’s aesthetically reminiscent of Mario Paint. It might not be for everyone, but if you’re in the mood to create some tunes (and provided you know what you’re doing), this title has your musical stylings covered.

The first thing I noticed about Composer World is the sheer amount of options. You begin by choosing a musical template. Are you composing a jazz piece or a pop song? In fact, there are nine types waiting for you to try, including 8-bit, orchestra, and synth. 

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Once you’ve decided on your preferred style, you’re presented with a blank sheet of music. It’s long, too, with 263 bars ready to fill. That’s a lot of music to write! This allows creative types to write pieces of almost any size.

Unfortunately, there’s nothing in the way of a tutorial or introduction. Thankfully, it’s not hard to work out what to do; the basic gameplay element is to drag and drop various instruments from the top of the play area onto your sheet of music. Unless you know how to read music, you’re just randomly assigning instruments to unknown notes. While this can be fun for a laugh, I don’t think that’s the intention of this game.

Creating music, in general, isn’t easy. A true composition takes time, with notes, beats, and instruments to consider. Composer World does its best to take this fine art and allow anyone to create their own masterpiece by giving you the right tools. What it doesn’t do, however, is teach you how to read or write music.

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This means Composer World is best suited to those who already know a little about music. Thankfully, I studied music as a child. With that in mind, I set about composing a tune that sounded half-decent to me. Despite the simple tools and interface, it takes time, though this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Instead, it means you have a fairly robust tool at your disposal. 

Music, like drawing or writing, is a creative process. In Composer World, you craft a bar or two, play it back, tweak it, move on to the next bar, and repeat. What key are you in? Which instruments work well together? What tempo should your song take? These are all items for consideration.

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Other options include the addition of sharps, flats, and naturals. These change the tone of your notes. While it’s nice to be able to move out of the default C major key, I’d prefer the ability to change the overall key of my piece rather than adding sharps or flats for every note that needs it. For example, to change to G major, you need to add sharps to all your F notes; having them as sharp by default would be easier and more intuitive. 

The controls are simple; move the on-screen cursor to the instrument or option of your choice and press A to select it. Playing in handheld mode allows you to use the touchscreen to create your tunes. This mostly works well, though some items are a little small and require either repeated touches or movement of the controller instead.

Graphically, Composer World has an extremely simple interface. On the plus side, this keeps things lean and clean, loading quickly and letting players concentrate on the task at hand. Conversely, it’s not exactly a pretty-looking game, particularly the menu. It’s very plain and lacks personality. 

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Creating music is one thing, but what about sharing? Composer World allows you to save your tracks, even uploading them to share with the world. This is a fun addition, allowing you to name your songs and design an icon. Listening to other players’ songs rewards you with items for your avatar, providing a nice incentive to share and enjoy a community of music.

Overall, Composer World is a no-frills approach to crafting songs. Despite the simple aesthetics, there’s a robust creation tool on offer here. It has its faults, such as the inability to change keys and the lack of a tutorial. However if you enjoy composing, this should satisfy anyone looking for a way to unleash their music into the world.