Platform: Windows PC
The concept behind Audiosurf is brilliant in its simplicity. Gamers choose a song from their computer and the game runs through it, picking out the pacing, beats, and every change in tempo, to create a unique level. Every bend and twist is directly related to the song, which gives the title an unrivaled amount of content. As you move through the tracks, surfing your own music, you need to pick up blocks that are put onto your board. In typical Bejewled fashion, once there are three colors connected, they clear.
There has never been a better combination of music and video games, leaving even enormous franchises such as Dance Dance Revolution and Rock Band in the dust. The blend is seamless, and there isn’t as much of a learning curve to the game as there is in other rhythm titles. The game sports vibrant colors and sleek visuals that serve to amplify the music, and every aspect of the game is put in place to remind you that this is your own song. You aren’t playing a level with a custom soundtrack like you might in another game; you are playing your soundtrack.
There are different characters in the game that have modifiers that allow you to erase certain colors or leap over blocks that you don’t wish to pick up, and each one provides a different type of gameplay. One character even modifies the level to only be three lanes wide, with all of the blocks being the same color. The gameplay changes to being more about dodging blocks then it is about picking them up, and leads to a more hectic experience.
As the music speeds up, so does the level, and playing through crazy techno songs is much harder then a Frank Sinatra tune. This doesn’t mean one is better then the other, just that both provide wholly unique experiences. While some songs may not match the level that well (and you might run in to one or two that don’t work at all), others are perfect and will shock you with the game’s amazing technology.
It doesn't just work with songs, either. Any MP3 or musical tracks work, as seen in the video below. It is hard to explain the gameplay because of how different it is, so checking that out might be a good idea.
Some reviewers have called Audiosurf the greatest independent game of all time, and I can’t say that I disagree. It has a crazy amount of replayability, with its only limit being the size of your playlists. Every song provides a wholly unique experience, and with the global scoreboard there is always a reason to play. The game will even send you emails when you score is broken, prodding you to go back and retake your throne. This doesn’t work flawlessly, as some versions of a song can be different (and produce a different level) then others, but on the whole it is still an impressive experience.
The thing that clued me in to the quality of Audiosurf was that Valve threw support behind it and made it a featured game on their Steam platform. With a price of only $10 dollars it is insane not to download it if you are a music fan. As any addicting game goes, you can lose hours in its flashy presentation or just play a few songs before going to bed at night. Either way you will get your moneys worth.