I don’t feel like Audiosurf is so much a game as it is a really, REALLY hyper-intense visualizer. I mean, let’s look at the facts: The background is flashy and pretty, following the flow of the song you’re playing. The road is curved based upon the beat and intensity of the song, and the blocks that appear are generated around the same stuff as well. It’s a visualizer video game! And you know what? It’s damn fun.
First off, you have to pay for it after a demo of five songs. Ten dollars is kind of a lot for a simple game like this, but when you realize it can encompass literally any sound file you put into it, the price is justified. You can play anything from Deadmau5 to Lady Gaga to Crystal Castles. You can even play soundfiles ripped from games and YouTube. The latter would obviously result in short stages, but who doesn’t like the idea of scoring tip top on PINGAS? … Nobody? Well, whatever.
The tutorial explains a lot, but it wouldn’t hurt to explain the basics right here. The courses are generated based upon the intensity, beat, and speed of your song. Uphill means slow, downhill means crazy, so keep that in mind when choosing your tune. DragonForce might not be a good idea to start off on, know what I mean? In the same way, mellower songs might be a bit too easy.
There are three lanes and two shoulder lanes, shoulders dependant on the ship played. Blocks of varying colors will be casually sliding down their lanes, and it’s your job to nab as many as you can, storing them in your grid and matching colors to earn points. Grey blocks are filler and can’t be destroyed by matching; you just have to wait them out. Of course, all of this is really dependant on the ship you play.
The ships all have different playstyles and abilities, and range from easy to intermediate to expert in difficulty of use. The Mono only has one color on their maps, while also suffering masses of greys. Standard mono has no abilities, intermediate can jump, and expert can shuriken a grid-stack of unwanted blocks. Vegas can shuffle colors and powerups to make things interesting, Eraser can completely remove a single color from its grid, and Pointman can store a block for later. There are plenty more, but I really haven’t gotten around to playing them. I’ve just been enjoying playing my music.
Finally, flaws. I don’t know of any. This game is unique to the EXTREME, so it’s not really easy for me to spot minutiae and blast them. The hitboxes of the ships are consistent and manageable, the levels are always well-formed and fun, the visuals are dazzling, and the game itself doesn’t require any commitment to enjoy. Play it when you want, how you want, all that good stuff.
So, is infinite flashy pretty musical funtime worth the ten dollars? According to me, absolutely. I got mine in am Indie Bundle on Steam for a reduced price. Four games for price of what Audiosurf would have been alone. Nice, eh?
Scott Sharkey of 1up, according to his decorative review, loves Audiosurf too. For the same reasons I do, really. You can enjoy your collection of music in an entirely different way. A spasmodically pretty, rhythm oriented way. It’s great to play on impulse, and fun to pass time with. Here’s his full review, just for you: http://www.1up.com/reviews/audiosurf