The Japanese prototype for this game was originally called Sound Fantasy (サウンドファンタジ), and was later titled Sound Factory during development. It was never released to western audiences in this original format and remained an unreleased video game for the Super NES/Super Famicom for many years. The games designer, Toshio Iwai, was inspired by his earlier interactive installation art piece titled Music Insects to develop a video game at Nintendo between 1993 and late 1994. The completed product was inexplicably canceled by Nintendo, and the game’s key elements were later developed into Maxis’s 1996 PC game release titled SimTunes.
Sound Factory contains eccentric concepts and untested game mechanics. Music games, especially on home consoles, were not popular in the early 1990s, and it wouldn’t be until much later in the decade that they gained mainstream attention. This Sound Fantasy prototype contains 3 different games in one cartridge.
Tha main game is Pix Quartet. There are four insects of different colors, the player can select different insects to represent each instrument. They crawl all over the screen and interact with the drawings the player has made. Insects that crawl over a colored pixel make a note. Each color represents a different note for each insects. Sample Demos can be loaded to demonstrate the capabilities of this game. Many different colors make the critters do different things like turn in different directions, etc.
Beat Hopper is a rhythm game in the style of Q-bert, where an insect on a pogo stick must make every block disappear after stepping on it as many times needed. Each block makes its own sound and the order does not matter. The player can improvise a song with each block.
Star Fly is inspired by music boxes, where the player can set a sequence of stars in the sky, to compose a song. A higher star corresponds to a higher musical note.