A purple beetle walks along a path strewn with collectible white dots and big, squishy bubbles. When left alone, its tiny beetle feet carry its body to the beat of Passion Pit's Take a Walk. With player intervention, the beetle soars into the air, wings frantically flapping, before landing on the ground. It jumps on the beat, it lands on the beat, it walks to the beat. Music is the reason the beetle moves.

In another world, two painterly figures linked by a chain try to work their way up a hill. The sky and the ground pulses to the hypnotic beat of Cut Copy's Sun God. Players propel the figures into the air and coordinate them to move each other forward and upwards by pressing keys on the keyboard. The figures writhe and spasm, slinging each other back and forth in a violent fit. Left alone, they fall, flopsy bodies tumbling down the hill as the pink sky continues to pulsate and the world around them sings Cut Copy's song.

These games are made to music, and music is what made these games. Earlier this year, independent music website Pitchfork and video game culture publication Kill Screen partnered to launch Soundplay, a project that invited five developers to design games for five songs. The result was the purple beetle with its tiny feet scuttling along. It was the pulsating world of the jittery figures slinging each other back and forth. The project produced five distinct interactive experiences — each with their own style and mechanics, their own look and feel, and very different takes on what it means to create a music video game.