AudioSurf: Ride Your Music


Computer Platform: PC (Windows)
Produced by:
Price Range: $10 or under
Learning curve time: 1-30 min.
Age level: All Ages
ESRB Rating:
Patches / Upgrades: None.
System Requirements: Windows XP/Vista, 1.6GHz CPU, 512MB RAM, 32MB nVidia GeForce 2, DirectX 9.0c compiant SoundCard

     Reviewed By: Tyrone Hooge

Overall Rating: ★★★★★
Genre: Casual Puzzle Racer
Rating: 5 of 5 (excellent)
Gameplay: 5 of 5 (excellent)
Violence: 4 of 5 (barely present)
Adult Content: 5 of 5 (none)

AudioSurf: Ride Your Music.  Illustration copyrighted.

Sometimes the best games come with the smallest hype. Indie developer Dylan Fitterer has developed an amazing game in AudioSurf. Using one of 14 available characters, you guide your vehicle through an entirely unique “race track” (which is made by your music) and try to make “clusters” of colored cars. Sound interesting? It is…

AudioSurf is a Casual/Puzzle/Racing game and is completely music-based. The point of the game is to race your character down a track and gather colored “cars”. You can gather up to 21 cars at a time, but when three or more of any of the same color touch they disappear and you get points. You can work towards a High Score, or unlocking one of AudioSurf’s 11 in-game achievements.

When you first load up AudioSurf, you choose a character. These characters are arranged in three different categories, from easy to hard. Each character has it’s own special ability, like being able to erase certain colors. Once you’ve chosen your character, it’s time to choose a song.

AudioSurf: Ride Your Music.  Illustration copyrighted.

When you load a song into AudioSurf, the game automatically analyzes the make-up of the song and creates a unique race track. If the song is fast-paced and bass-heavy, the track will move mostly downhill, and have many little bumps in the road. If the song is slow and soothing, it’ll probably go uphill and slowly. Every song is different, and so is the track. AudioSurf supports most major digital-music formats including: CD, MP3, WMA, OGG, FLAC, and iTunes. When you purchase AudioSurf through Valve’s S.T.E.A.M. distribution service, you also get the entire Orange Box soundtrack, featuring music from the Half-Life series, Portal, and Team Fortress 2.

Every time you finish a track, you are awarded points based on the in-game bonuses you accomplished, such as finishing without touching a gray block (as character “Mono”), or for finishing the track without having any cars in your grid. Your total score is then added up, and, if you did well enough, your name will be placed on the “High Score” list.

Unlike most “High Score” lists, AudioSurf’s is Global, Regional, and Friends Only. That is, you can see how people around the world, in your area, or in your friends list do on the song you’ve just beaten. Also, there is no true “Multi-player” mode. You can play 2-player co-op mode on one PC, but there is no Co-Op mode, or head2head contests online.

Content-wise, AudioSurf out of the box is about as clean as it gets… I gave this game a 4/5 (Barely Present) for violence not for the game itself, but for two of the included songs in the Orange Box OST. The song “Still Alive” features some lyrics about people dying, and mention of someone being killed, broken to pieces, and burned. The song is sung in a humorous tone by a character from the game “Portal”, but you certainly won’t get it if you’ve never played “Portal”.

than that, AudioSurf is as clean, or as dirty, as you make it to be. Since the entirety of the content relies on the songs you pick, your experience with the game is left up to you.

AudioSurf: Ride Your Music.  Illustration copyrighted.

This game only got a “5″, instead of a “5+”, because of a few bugs. Logging in, Signing up, and cursor issues have been apparent to many users, and as of the time of this review, have not been resolved. That being said, the above issues do not really detract from the overall experience, but can be sort of annoying, especially if you really want to keep track of your score.

As a final word, AudioSurf is one of the most impressive games I’ve seen in a while. Fantastic art, graphics, and music integration all come together to make Audiosurf an amazing package, and for only $9.95USD, who can complain?

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Year of Release — 2008

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this Spotlight review are those of the reviewer (both ratings and recommendations), and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Eden Communications or the Answers Network.

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