Eaglie's Aviary

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Audiosurfing Some Gnarly Tunes

This is an honest attempt to review something. This is something I don't do. Bear with me.

Everyone I know is addicted to this game, Audiosurf. It's bad: it loads like iTunes, but is a game! It's genius! It's insidious! It's starvation and insomnia in a pop-up box!

The premise of the game is--well, it's like an old arcade game, really. It's about advancing your score, not about a storyline. As the mainstream media would put it, the game is a cross between Bust-a-Move, Guitar Hero, and Cruisin' USA. It's a racing game, building a road out of the pitch and speed of a music file. Any mp3 you have becomes a racetrack.

The highway itself looks like a surreal rainbow rollercoaster, and it is about as hypnotic as Mario Kart 64's Rainbow Road, but the songs are your choice. Next person to use Rainbow Road's theme gets a cookie though.

The Bust-a-Move part comes in the "traffic" on the road. Suspiciously-colored blocks come whizzing at your racecar and will go into rows you build up (when you pick them up). That's where the points come from, and that's where the yelling and testosterone-induced, arcade-style addicting competition comes from.

For a brief shining moment, I was #7 globally on Portal's amazing credits song "Still Alive" (the robotic voice version). Bear in mind this is the most popular song currently in the whole game. Besides those bragging rights, my friends and I have been battling it out to see who could do better at a few of the faster They Might Be Giants songs, and any song about driving tends to be great. Speaking of driving songs, I should try "Teen Angel" or "Last Kiss" next...

Currently, I'm being yelled at for setting a few impossibly high scores that none of my friends can beat. Of course, I can’t even beat my high scores: they're way too high. But whether you call them luck or hacks, I still have them.

The high scores lists are very buggy at the moment, and the game is a surprising system hog: my computer overheated twice the first day of playing. This has since leveled out, but still...

There. People told me I had to write a negative paragraph. You happy? Am I a legitimate critic now? Or am I going to have to recite a speech from Ratatouille right now?

The game is innovative, addicting, and a fairly quick load. Catch me as [FoH] Eaglie, hacking knocking down your high scores.
    Audiosurf Info
  • http://www.audio-surf.com

  • Developer: BestGameEver (http://www.bestgameever.com)

  • Release Date: February 11, 2008

  • $9.95 through Steam (and it comes with the Orange Box soundtrack, which means you get the amazing "Still Alive" for free with $9.95 purchase! What a deal! What a way to make a living, shilling other people's stuff! I'm quitting the review business!)