Music has the power to make you move, to inspire great works, and to touch your soul. But as the year draws to a close, Christmas music prepares to blast our eardrums for what seems like an eternity, music becomes the enemy (I love Christmas, but can we at least wait till Thanksgiving is over before we deck the halls?). Before we all stuff our ears with cotton, let’s reflect on a game that really brought music to life in the distant year of 2008.
AudioSurf is a music-adapting puzzle racer that uses songs from your music libraries to create unique tracks based on the tempo and rhythm of each individual song. Slow, steady songs, will generate a gentle cruise through melodies. Songs with a faster pace will form tracks that zip players along at break neck speed.
There is one minor detail I forgot to mention. Along the tracks are colored bricks that players collect, and gray brick that players need to avoid at all costs because they jam up your board and cause you to crash. You aren’t out for a joy ride after all.
Aside from picking the atmosphere and the speed at which they are racing to the other end of the track, players are able to select from three different modes: Casual, Pro, and Elite. Each mode comes with several characters who, in turn, have their own set of abilities that help players rack up points and show off their agility. Mono for example, allows players to focus on one color, Pointman eliminates the gray blocks, and focuses on a players color matching ability, and Double Vision allows you to control two smaller ships at once.
After selecting a song and a character, players are given a breakdown of what their ride is going to look like, how to use your character, medal goals, random tips, and the chance to change the sound effects of the blocks you hit. The graph will even show players where they can expect things to get bumpy.
Once players have reached the end of a run, they can check their score against other racers on the local and global level.
Developer Dylan Fitterer is currently work on AudioSurf2 , which is available through Early Access on Steam, in order to breathe new life into this forgotten gem. The follow up is encouraging the community to create mods and skins to promote unique experiences for each player.
AudioSurf is an electrifying ride through your personal soundtrack, and although it may have been pushed to the sidelines by its successor, I will always treasure AudioSurf as the original music adapting racer.