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Front face Back face
The card's front face The card's back face


Sounds in game menus.


Title Screens , Cutscenes .
Often uses:
Music , Contextual Music , Sound Effects .
May use:
Foley .


The Menus constitute one of the distinct components of sound design in games, along with the introductory Title Screens, the Cutscenes, and – the more “extensive” component – sound occurring during gameplay.

Sound in Menus augments players’ Awareness for their actions. Frequently it is possible to perceive at least three kinds of semantics in Menus sounds: navigation (‘neutral’ sounds), acceptance (‘positive’ sounds), and refusal (‘negative’ sounds).

Considering that moving through items in menus is an abstract action, Sound Effects are the common solution. Yet, in order to augment the closeness between Menu sounds and game world sounds, some menus integrate elements of Foley from the gameplay.

Music is also common presence in menus. Usually that is “the music of the game” (or the “soundtrack” if it applies) but it can also change along time, e.g., according to the level being played (Contextual Music).


Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots: Sounds of gun handling and firing are adopted.
Red Dead Redemption: Sounds of gun handling and firing are used to deliver feedback to selections and provide some playfulness to the navigation.
Uncharted: Drake's Fortune: The Aesthetics of the sounds is noticeably coherent with the game experience.
Half-Life 2: When accessing the Menus, the Ambiance from gameplay continues to be heard, which contributes to maintain the player connected to the game world.
[show less examples...]
Flower: In the beginning of the game, the (Contextual) Music has a sad tone, accompanying a dark Ambiance. As the player completes levels they become lively and rewarding. Such evolution is in consonance with the Emotional Script of the game.
BioShock: The sounds when selecting the entries invite the user to play with the menu. They are also coherent it the game’s Aesthetics.
The Path:
Heavy Rain:
Guitar Hero 5:
The Binding of Isaac:
Rez HD:
Katamari Forever: The sounds contribute to extend the gameplay into the menu.