Audiosurf (PC)

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Introduction

A jet bike flying through three lanes of traffic, hitting colored blocks and dodging the boring grey blocks. I don’t know why this jet bike needs to get to a space portal at the end, how the blocks help it, or why the world has all these trippy shapes in the background– who cares? It’s fun.

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Look at the colors maaaan.

History

The game was basically made by one guy, Dylan Fitterer. He was a big fan of the game REZ (A game I should review sometime) and a music visualizer. He wondered what else could be done with music in three dimensional space.

Audiosurf was released on August 15th, 2008. It’s competition was Stalker: Clear Sky (PC), Too Human (XBox 360), and Ratchet and Clank: Quest for Booty (PS3).

Nostalgia

I found a weird glitch when I was playing this with a friend. When a Steam friend is playing the same song that you’re playing it’ll show where they are in the song. We saw the display for the song and that someone was already playing it, it was us. We were apparently already playing the song which didn’t make sense. We tried to make our selections quickly to try and “catch up” with ourselves but we never did.

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Medals give you a general indication of how well you’ve been doing, but it’s all about he fun.

Gameplay

There are a bunch of different game modes but they all boil down to the same thing. Your bike will go down the road and you need to pick up colored blocks and avoid the grey blocks. After a little bit the colored blocks that are connected will disperse and you’ll get points, the more blocks you connect the more points you get. The colors shift with the intensity of the music. There are general increases in difficulty but it doesn’t really matter, just have fun.

Songs have very active leader boards. It seems like people get dropped of the leader boards for a little while but it’s good to be king for a day. On the flip side, that guy who’s been at #1 forever might not be forever. It feels really rewarding to get in the top 10.

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There are also a series of bonuses that will increase your score if you perform certain tasks.

The game can be controlled with either the keys or the mouse. The mouse control but the keys are more precise. I’ve been in a lane when I thought I wasn’t because I was half way into it. Using the keys moves you to the center of the chosen lane so there’s no ambiguity but it’s hard to hit the keys as fast as you can flick the mouse.

The Gush

I really like how the complexity of the map isn’t based on the intensity of the music but the complexity of the music. A guitar solo doesn’t make the field intense but a 12 piece orchestra or static makes the game go berzerk.

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The rings represent moments of intensity.

I love the capacity for this game to help people have fun sharing music. Sharing music is already cool but it feels so passive, this game eliminates this passivity and turns it into a crazy time.

It’s really interesting to see that other people have been listening to the crazy stuff you have. I’ve found active rankings for crazy songs that I thought no one else had heard of.

I don’t know what causes it but sometimes the track does loopety-loops and it’s the most awesome thing.

The game works on a variety of older machines. My compaq from 1999 was able to play it at the lowest settings.

Sharing music has never been more fun than playing Double-Vision mode.

The Kvetch

Some of the game modes are a level of crazy that I can’t even begin to comprehend. Apparently Pointman and Pusher allow huge scores but I have NO idea how they work. Maybe you’ll like them.

The Verdict

I highly recommend this game as one that utilizes your music. The only other game that comes as close to the coolness of Audiosurf’s use of music would be Vib Ribbon. It’s silly fun and a great way to do something else while you listen to your music.

Because I missed posting last week there will be another post on Monday. This Monday I review All of Our Friends are Dead.

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