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‘Audiosurf’ Review (PC)

In the words of the late James Brown in one of my favorite B.E.P. songs, I have to agree. They don’t know how to use it. Playing their favorite tunes in WMP, WinAMP, iTunes, or Rhapsody, they just don’t know how to use it. Luckily, the guys at Invisible Handlebar do, and they brought their brilliantly cheap software, Audiosurf, to the world of hungry PC gamers who have a stockpile of mp3s at their disposal.

The premise is simple enough: play the game to your music collection. But how does it play? How do I get my music in the game? Is it any fun? Yes. No. Yes. If you were paying attention you’d notice I only answered the last question. But the answers to the first two are simple enough.

You take control of one of several pilots, each with a variety of skills and abilities to make traversing songs less difficult. After selecting said pilot, you choose the folder where your music is located, and if its in one of the supported formats (MP3, WMA, ogg, iTunes, or CD) the game will then scan the song, and using a complex algorithm, create a custom environment to your song. Note, the game only has to scan a song once, and it doesn’t take more than 20 seconds. If you write off the game because of a 20 second wait, then I’ll say good day to you sir.

The first thing you will see as you load the song is a snake like race track in a void, surrounded by obscure variously colored objects. You’ll then see your pilot and a few rectangular colored cubes. If you’re playing on a higher difficulty and its a fast paced song, position yourself out of the way of the closest gray block NAO! To do this, you’ll use the mouse or arrow keys to guide your pilot through the treacherous surf. Afterward, its your job to get as many blocks of the same color together as possible. These blocks will net you points. Blue being the lowest, red being the highest. You will learn to kick blue blocks out of the way like a drunk friend trying to mooch some beer and wings off of you while hitting on your girl in order to get those sweet, sweet red ones.

You will also notice, if you’re being observant, that the track bends and flows to the music. Make sure as you’re climbing a hill that you’re familiar with the tempo of the song, or else you could end up with a crap load of blocks you don’t want. The more points you get, you’ll notice you’ll progress from bronze to gold, depending on the difficulty of the song and its maximum point range. 20,000 points in one song may be gold whereas its only bronze in another. Finally, after you’ve completed the song, you will be rewarded by the gaping maw of a purple octopus. The scariest thing you can imagine. So scary I won’t show it to you, but rather let you discover it for yourself.

All in all, Audiosurf is a great way to revisit your music collection in a fun and interactive way. Being priced at only $10, you’d be crazy not to go out and pick this up now. And if you are crazy, please don’t hunt me down for exposing your secret. Who’s really going to believe me anyway?


That screenshot looks absolutely gorgeous. I love all of the colors, and style in the game.