ALL THE BASS
A short while ago, I was sitting at my computer when I received a random message from the almighty Goose. It read something along the lines of “Yo, review this” and was attached to a Steam code. As the resident indie gamer, any review requests for indie games or games from Steam’s Greenlight program often end up on my desk. I’ve played enough indie games to know that for every Limbo or Minecraft, there’s a dozen games that aren’t quite ready for the mass market. Occasionally there’s also a great title that no-one really knows about yet. This is what makes me both excited and nervous every time a new indie game comes up for review. I entered my newly received code and this time was greeted with Rush Bros.
Rush Bros is a platformer from XYLA Entertainment. It’s a platformer with a bit of a twist though, as rhythm elements control many of the games obstacles and hazards, and a same screen competitive multiplayer mode allows for some fast-paced action with friends.
As I started playing, I was looking for other titles I could compare with Rush Bros to give people an idea of what to expect. It looks like Limbo with neon highlights, plays like a slightly more forgiving Super Meat Boy and pays tribute to a range of classic platformers. While it’s easy to make these comparisons, Rush Bros still manages to be different enough from each.
An interesting twist to the genre (and the base for the game’s story of two siblings / competing DJs) is the way it combines rhythm elements into the platforming. Most hazards and some obstacles are actually timed to match the soundtrack, meaning that you’ll sometimes find yourself timing jumps or slides to the beat. “But Scoot, I hate those stupid generic soundtracks they include with Rhythm game” I hear you say… Well, Rush Bros actually has a really good soundtrack. Still, if you’re not entirely into the electronic soundtrack, the game gives you the option to use any of your MP3 or OGG music files to provide your own backing music.
The multiplayer is possibly the game’s highlight. In multiplayer, both players race through the same level, at the same time, with the goal of beating the other player to the finish line. Pretty simple, right? Wrong. More power-ups have been spread throughout the level and these allow both players to drop a set of undesirable changes on the other player. From the fairly standard control reverse, and screen flip, to the more unique Zoom (zooming the other players camera in, so they can barely see where they’re going) or Blackout (Removing a large section of the colourful background, making it difficult to see platforms and ledges).
Rush Bros could still use some tweaking, particularly in multiplayer with its power-ups and the way it cuts the losing player off once the first person finishes. Even without that tweaking though, Rush Bros is still pretty fun to play. Single player is a challenge to beat each level as fast as possible and with as few deaths as possible, while multiplayer provides a chaotic twist. Keep your eye out for a level inspired by possibly the most well-known video game of all time.
Buy Rush Bros here. It’s also available on the OUYA.