|System: PC||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: BestGameEver||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Valve||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Feb. 15, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Cole Smith
Audiosurf is a truly dynamic game. It's the result of an assimilation of gameplay elements that yields a fresh and unique gameplay hybrid. Audiosurf combines puzzles, racing, and rhythm into a straightforward formula that is incredibly addicting. The gameplay literally conforms itself to the style of music that you've selected. Not only is this a unique gaming experience, but it's a new way to enjoy music, since you don't just listen to it, you play it.
I've played a lot of hybrid games in the past few months. I'm not so sure it's a trend as much as a coincidence. Combining gameplay elements is nothing new, in fact, the most popular games of the day have been inspired by a number of popular titles. It's an art to be able to combine the best elements of such games to create one cohesive title. The result can be magic or tragic. Thankfully the new developers, BestGameEver, managed to get it right with Audiosurf. They are also intent on developing new downloads to continually improve the game.
Audiosurf requires good reflexes, sharp puzzles solving skills, and a love of music. You can purchase the Official Orange Box Soundtrack to provide you with a variety of diverse tunes, or you can simply use your own. The game supports a lot of file types including CDs, MP3s, M4As, OGGs, and WMAs. The game will analyze each selection and determine the relative speed of the gameplay based on the beat and most dominant audio source, be it the lead vocals, a guitar, or sax solo. As I mentioned, the gameplay is dynamic, and as such will blend with the music in such a way that these two disparate elements will seemingly become one entity.
It's inevitable that comparisons will made to any game that is touted as fresh and original. My first impression would be to compare it to Klax, a puzzle game in which you match up similar colored blocks that toppled down an angled platform. In terms of graphics and animation, there are obvious similarities to Guitar Hero as the various icons (in this case blocks) move down a track of sorts. I also found many similarities to a lesser-known PS2 game called Rez, in which the gameplay is also dynamically linked to the soundtrack. I would highly recommend tracking that game down for a unique experience.