What is the Trombone Champion? – The Internet’s Newest Rhythm Game

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Photo credit: Holy Wow

The latest rhythm game to take social media by storm, Trombone Champ hits the ground with a mighty “toot”. So what is Trombone Champ and why should you play it?

If you’re familiar with rhythm-based video games like Guitar Hero or Rock Band, you might find it easy to see how a little game called Trombone Champ took the internet by storm. Created by developer Holy Wow, Trombone Champ was released last week on PC. The game quickly gained traction after Gamer on PC‘s review clinching it as a Game of the Year contender. Since then, gamers have been sharing game clips on social media.

Trombone Champ puts you in the shoes of a goofy trombonist playing classics by Beethoven, Mozart, Tchaikovsky, Scott Joplin’s ragtime hits, “God Save the King,” the US national anthem, and more.

By using your mouse to drag the pitch of the trombone up or down, you must precisely hit the pitch while the song is playing to receive the highest possible score. Because the cursor moves in the opposite direction to how you move your mouse, it adds an extra layer of difficulty, especially on some faster-paced songs.

The trombone’s brassy toots provide the main melody using the notes you play above the actual backing track. As a result, Trombone Champ is great fun when you’re not playing it exceptionally well. Nicole Clark from Polygon describes it best: It’s as if you were playing “My Heart Will Go On” by Celine Dion with a recorder.

As you play each song with your trombone (for which you unlock a variety of colors and other achievements), the game provides a backdrop of visuals. Much of the game’s comedy stems from these sequences accompanied by your cartoonish character singing on his trombone with varying success.

“Trombone Champ is literally the only game I wish I had made. It is absolutely out of this world god level,” said Damn golf game developer Liam Edwards. “If you have the slightest respect for life, you will play it, laugh and curse the geniuses behind it.”

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