Have your music, and ride it too

6 Mar

By Nick Halme

Rhythm games have existed for a long time. Something appears on-screen, you mimic it, and everything is dandy. But no matter how hard you think you’re rocking at Guitar Hero, you’re really just excelling at a game of Simon says. So that said, what more can you do besides actually playing the music?

Well according to Audiosurf’s tagline “Ride your music”, you can do just that. Audiosurf generates an actual racing track from any song you own, using an algorithm to decide its shape — at intense moments the track slopes and at slow moments it begins to incline. If there is enough variation in the beat, the track will undulate and wiggle. All the while you can drive your little ship along it, collecting glowing blocks to make combos or avoiding grey blocks.

“Riding” your music is the key word here. When you are playing a song on your real guitar you could be seen as ‘Driving’ your music forward, when you’re playing a song on Guitar Hero you’re ‘Tailgating’ your music, copying its every movement. With Audiosurf you are literally “Riding” your music — you have no input to the song, and it doesn’t really matter if you mess up. You can just sit in the back seat, enjoying the rolling hills and deep valleys of a song. Frankly it isn’t even a rhythm game, but rather a different way to listen to music. If normally you sit in front of your computer while you listen to music and type, or you bring your iPod on the bus, then you’ve been missing out. Riding your music is definitely the way to go.

So we have driving, tailgating, and riding. Can anybody come up with another way to experience music? I’m not sure what say, ‘Sitting on the hood’, would entail and maybe I’m taking these strange automobile analogies way too far, but let’s give it a shot.

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