Atlanta new wave acolytes Lesibu Grand have introduced a new way to play music: the AR game filter. You don’t have to know any instrument, you can just open up Instagram on your phone and play a cool little retro shooter set to PLS PLS’s new remix of the band’s 2020 song “Hot Glue Gun.” Here’s a direct link to the filter, which you’ll need to open on your phone to play. (Who uses Instagram on a computer, anyway?)
The game’s pretty simple: there’s a pink gun at the center of the screen that’s constantly firing, and you move your head from left to right to aim its shots at a series of black roses bouncing towards you. When you hit a rose, it bursts into a bouquet of smaller blue roses. If a black rose gets past you, you lose one of your three lives. Meanwhile the “Hot Glue Gun” remix plays throughout, and, since this is an Instagram filter, your own face looms large over the whole Tron-like digital world in which the game takes place. If you need your games to have a goal, this offers two: setting a high score, and just simply having fun while listening to a cool song. It isn’t like the retro arcade game Lesibu Grand singer Tyler-Simone Molton fights through in the original “Hot Glue Gun” video (which you can check out below), but it absolutely shares the same retro arcade aesthetic and pink-and-purple color scheme.
That video set the game in motion. “After we shot the video for ‘Hot Glue Gun,’ which is set almost entirely within a videogame, we thought it would be really cool to develop an actual mobile game to capture the same vibe and spirit,” Molton tells Paste. While looking into the feasibility of making a game, the band discovered the company behind the AR game filter tech: Auras Studios. Auras makes interactive filters and other digital tools that combine music and augmented reality. Together Auras and Lesibu Grand worked up this game, which Auras CEO and Co-founder James Shannon describes as “an ‘80s vaporwave game filter.”
The game’s imagery isn’t just a nod to the ‘80s; the black and blue roses are an important symbol to the band. “From the early days of Lesibu Grand, we’ve used black and blue roses as a symbol of beauty and despair,” bassist and co-songwriter John Renaud tells Paste. “We’ve weaved this symbol into all our videos, and so it’s fitting that it appears in our game.”
Whether you’re familiar with Lesibu Grand or not, the “Hot Glue Gun” AR game filter is a cool little way to have a bit of fun while listening to a good song. If you’re on Instagram, you might dig it.
Oh, and the band also released a new video for the PLS PLS remix of “Hot Glue Gun.” Check it out, if you’d like.