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Rush Bros.

The goal of most races are the same in that one person will be attempting to cross the finish line before the others, but what if you added platforming that was affected by the type of music you listened to?  It’s an interesting idea, one that “Rush Bros.” dives into headfirst.  In this particular game, players can race solo or go head-to-head against an opponent while jamming out to their favorite tunes.  Before we get started with the review, I’d like to thank Derek Reeve from Plan of Attack (a PR & Marketing Agency) for reaching out and providing me with a couple of copies for review purposes.

Rush Bros.

Rush Bros. (Windows, Mac)

The main menu will allow you to play single player or multiplayer games and adjust game options.  The options menu touches on things like screen resolution, bloom, v-sync, fullscreen toggle, and audio volumes.  In regards to the interface, the game and its menus are fairly easy to navigate.  Like “Symphony”, you can select a folder that contains MP3 files and use your own playlist.  Not to worry, the game comes with default songs that include the works of “Infected Mushroom”, “The Black Parrot”, and “William Hunt”, just to name a few.  The game features customizable keybinds as well, though there aren’t really all that many controls to remember.  You have your standard WASD keys for movement, along with the ability to perform an action and slide with the E and Space Bar keys, respectively.  A secondary default configuration exists for those (including me) that prefer to use the arrow keys.

There are roughly forty different levels in which to blow through as quick as possible.  They are filled with obstacles, traps, and various power-ups.  The frequency of how often the traps cycle is primarily determined by the tempo / beats per minute of the music you are listening to.  Ergo, faster music will make your play experience a bit more difficult.  All of the levels are available from the get go without ever having to unlock anything.  While some might feel like there’s no progression in going this route, I appreciate the ease of which I can drop in and out of levels as I please without having to invest a lot of time in unlocking things.

Rush Bros.

You can switch out tracks easily with the number keys.

Single player acts like a time trial mode in that you’ll be racing to get the best score.  All of the in-game power-ups you’d normally see in multiplayer are restricted to self buffs only for obvious reasons.  Primarily, you’ll be able to make use of speed boosts and double jumps to help you top those leaderboards.  Like in some of the other racing games I’ve played (TrackMania, for example), you’ll be able to see your ghost from a previous race and compete against it in real-time.  You can also enable the game to prompt you when others challenge you to a race, as well as toggle survival and fast forward modes.

Multiplayer is a bit more in-depth and meaty, as it contains more power-ups that can really ruin a player’s day.  Both local split-screen and online multiplayer are supported, the former of which I can appreciate being in a house full of kids.  Local players will need to configure their keyboard configuration and/or controllers before they play, but it’s a minor inconvenience that’s easily overlooked.  In the case of online multiplayer, both players will be listening to their own songs.  As such, one player’s experience could differ from that of the other player.  Since songs with a higher tempo tend to produce more difficult stages, it’s generally a good idea to coordinate your playlists before hand so that both players are on equal footing.

Rush Bros.

The meshing of different bright colors is really eye-catching.

The idea behind the game is a simple one, but the platforming can be rather difficult at times.  I found the controls to be a bit sluggish, to the point where I fell victim to traps that I saw coming and attempted to avoid.  I noticed this “lag” the most when I commanded my character to jump, which he did about a second after I pressed the button.  It’s possible that my reflexes are dulling now that I’m getting older, and I’m glad that calm music helps to lower the difficulty somewhat.  When you do kick the bucket and assuming you don’t have survival mode enabled, you’ll respawn very close to where you died, allowing you to continue on without having to (thankfully) replay the level.

In the end, “Rush Bros.” is a decent game and somewhat of a mixed bag.  I really enjoyed the music and game modes that were available, but I disliked the platforming.  I think with some tighter control mechanics, the game would be a bit more enjoyable.  Still, the idea behind the whole game is a solid one and definitely worth pursuing.  I had a blast bounding through levels listening to “The Piano Guys” one minute while switching it up with intense video game music from various soundtracks the next.  In my opinion, this game would certainly appeal more to those who intend to play this as a party game locally or online with others.  I found the multiplayer to be a bit more fun than single player, which is rare considering that I prefer to fly solo in the games I play.  Games like “Super Meat Boy” have much better platforming mechanics in place, but “Rush Bros.” has a charm all its own that’s worth checking out.

Final Verdict: 6/10

You can learn more about and purchase “Rush Bros.” by visiting the following websites:

http://playrushbros.com/

http://store.steampowered.com/app/234490

http://www.desura.com/games/rush-bros

You can view video play sessions here:

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