“Horrible Music and Absurdity”: Introducing Trombone Champ, the Internet’s New Favorite Video Game | games

On Wednesday morning I saw a tweet from gaming magazine PC Gamer that made me laugh out loud. It included a video of a wide-eyed, pained-looking cartoon trombonist struggling to hit the notes of Beethoven’s Fifth, while the composer himself stared gloomily out of the screen in apparent disapproval. It’s a golden comedic combination of horrible music, fart sounds, seriousness and absurdity. This is the Trombone Champ video game, and it’s gone viral like mad ever since.

Of course I downloaded it immediately. I’ve been playing rhythm games for over 20 years, from Beatmania to Guitar Hero to Amplitude to fun music machines in Japanese arcades, and I take them embarrassingly seriously. trombone champion Not serious; It’s a wonderful mix of random musical comedy, trading card collection, made up facts about trombones and hot dogs (“The first trombone was made in 200,000,000 BC”) and true facts about baboons. (Don’t ask about the baboons. This game has unexpected secrets and the baboons are one of them.)

The world's first trombone rhythm game is instantly a GOTY contender. And no, I'm not kidding. Turn up the volume and hear Beethoven like you've never heard it before. https://t.co/Qu7Cmkhjzc pic.twitter.com/jTXNdWx3Zm

— PC Gamer (@pcgamer) September 20, 2022


Playing it is remarkably just as fun as watching it on video, at least for the first few songs. You move the trombone slider with your mouse and click or press a button to sound it. The noises that come out have only a vague relationship to the music. The graphics are hilarious, with Rosamunde accompanied by beer mugs and pretzels majestically bouncing and twirling around the screen. During a truly horrifying rendition of God Save Our King, photos of the London Bridge and Union Jack reverently fade in and out in the background, followed by a huge JPEG of a cooked breakfast.

Trombone Champ is being developed by a two-person developer called Holy Wow, consisting of Dan Vecchitto and Jackie Lalli, who also made a series of competitive typing games called Icarus Proudbottom’s Typing Party. It’s fair to say that this game wasn’t on my radar. I asked Chris Livingstone from PC Gamer what he thought of it; He said: “I was browsing Steam on Monday night and I was like, ‘That looks cute,’ which on Tuesday morning was like, ‘This is a work of pure joy and I have to tell the world.'”

Ben Jacobs – AKA Max Tundra, electronic musician and multi-instrumentalist – composed a song especially for this game. (He’s also featured on one of his trading cards.) When I asked him how he got involved with an extremely niche indie trombone game, he told me it all started with him asking for a favor 2018 on Twitter. He needed someone to recreate an image for a poster, and one of those interviewed said he would do it if Ben wrote a song for his game. He accepted, and four years later you can join Max Tundra’s Long-Tail Limbo.

The developers were blown away by the sudden attention Trombone Champ is attracting. “We should be clear that Holy Wow is primarily a one-person operation at the moment. And it’s not even our main concert! We work full time jobs (!!!) and built this whole game nights, weekends and holidays,” Vecchitto tweeted. “So it’s going to take us a few weeks to get our lives in order and deal with the huge demand this game has generated.”

Trombone Champ is a little gift from the Internet, something to savor—unexpected baboons and all—over a few lunch breaks or evenings and then evangelize forever. I kept noticing new little details, like the graphic that ranks each song on Spunk, Doots, Slides, Fury and Tears, or the scrolling lyrics to the warm-up tune that ends, “I warmed up my trombone!” My nightmare is over, woo”. I challenge you not to grin while playing.

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