The Trombone Champ is a fantastic trombone rhythm game

The Trombone Champ is a fantastic trombone rhythm game

Slip and slide all the way around the song

Over the last two days, youve probably noticedpopping up all over your social media feeds. It is instantly recognizable as exactly what it is: a rhythm game about playing the trombone. This is, however, a trombone rhythm game, and a very good one.

Id look into some sort of recitation of howsets this all up. Maybe how it handles, or what buttons it uses to do the things it does. The mouse moves a cursor up and down in an inverted fashion, and your mouse click or any keyboard button is held to play notes.

This is quite a fun experience to get used to watching it. Its probable that the game has been so popular in YouTube. I first saw this game on the Unprofessional Fridays segment, and again when a PC Gamers stunning rendition of Beethovens Fifth touched Twitter.

The world''s first trombone rhythm game is instantly a GOTY contender. And no, I''m not kidding. Turn up the volume and hear Beethoven like you''ve never heard it before.

PC Gamer (@pcgamer) October 20, 2022

I was amazed at how quick it all felt, and how quickly it all became apparent. This is the easy control strategy. It makes you off easy, literally, taking you through a few scales.

I have taken partaken in some formation in trombone. I wouldn''t say I''m any type of virtuoso, but its an instrument I''ve always enjoyed for a wide variety of reasons. Reasons that, perhaps, are quite well-reflected here.

Reaching for seventh

The trombone has a glitzy, glissando effect, because it is basically one large horn and youre holding a loose tuning slide. Where other instruments use plungers and the same, playing trombone involves learning all the positions the slide must be in for each note.

Early on, you might learn some rough approximations. First, second, third, fourth, etc. However, as my old teachers would remind me, every note is different. It''s basically tuning a horn on the fly to make notes happen. This is extremely interesting and rewarding to learn, and also inherently goofy.

Playing, you can hear players get in the right note and slide into it. It will sound right-ish, but perhaps not always exactly correct. And seeing an obvious miss, or a series of notes where the players slide is merely trying to keep up with the cascade of notes, is really fun.

Trombone Champ is the best game ever made

Jacob DeRose (@JacobDJAtkinson) September 21, 2022

In terms of the wayhandles, hitting a button on the keyboard starts and stops a note, and you may even run out of breath. One hand has to customize the note, while another handles the tuning.

The slide controls are inverted, which might appear odd at first. However, higher notes are played with the slide pulled, while lower notes are susceptible to even more tube usage, thus pushed further further. (Anyone who had to reach for a low-E way out in seventh knows what I mean. My thanks to the inventor of trombone.

Music in motion

This trombone lesson is not only to test years of band directors stating that my knowledge would be applicable in the real world. Its to highlight how effectiveworks as a rhythm game, because of its use of the real, physical, and tactile potential of playing its star instrument.

It gives me a bit of funky gameplay, which revels in a similar sense of hilarity. Something that is pleasing when done well, and hilarious when done poorly. The friction hasnt been taken out, just smoothed into a part of the experience. It''s remarkable to me that many individuals are buying with the expectation that they will be terrible at it.

The public domain-infused soundtrack is so helpful here, too. Everyone knows what tunes likeorshould sound, and they can hear every note in their head when the expectation is met, too, with a sliding, modulating trombone? Brilliant.

Although Id hate the lack of high-end licensed tracks, Holy Wow has created an excellent selection of familiar, recognizable songs. Anthems, culturally significant tunes, and motif you probably heard in growing up make this a great setlist. Obviously, Id love some custom track integration or a sort-of-level editor, which the studio suggests. Its also working on more high-end upgrades, including new songs, accessibility options, and a score graph that can note performance throughout a track.

No bone to pick

Outside of going through many familiar tunes, there is a surprising amount of activity to do in this game. Holy Wow has hidden a slew of hidden secrets.

The kind youd go to a friends house and boot up, or snicker away at in a computer lab, has a good production, many well-executed gags and jokes, and even a loot box system filled with Did You Know non-facts.

I absolutely cant recommendenough. It might be straightforward to see it as a gag purchase on the outside, and youcrack yourself up playing this game. But there is a sense of patience and saviness behind and play in equal measure, just like a trombone. And it''s much worth your time. Find it here.

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