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AudioSurf

Developer: Dylan Fitterer
15 February 2008
AudioSurf - cover art
Glitchwave rating
3.10 / 5.0
0.5
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586 Ratings / 3 Reviews
#2,484 All-time
#93 for 2008
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Title
Simple, yet Effective
Kind of has a barrier of entry nowadays, since it requires actual song files to play. I have a lot of digital music, but I realize this game isn't something you can just recommend to somebody and expect them to have the same experience you did (unless you hand them a hard drive too). Also, as far as rhythm games go, it's been rendered pretty obsolete by games like Beat Saber and Osu!. However, I really enjoy the freedom to play whatever you want; the potentially unlimited catalog can make for a tailor-made experience.
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ukmi 2021-09-20T00:34:36Z
2021-09-20T00:34:36Z
3.5
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For all the 1k+ releases I have rated on rym I always play the albums first on this game before adding them to my library. Why? I don't know, it's just become a habit, and that's why my backlog is always big.

Audiosurf is essentially a rhythm game in space where you collect colored "blocks" on your grid trying to connect at least 3 of the same colors to make them disappear from your grid while also giving you points for your total score - The bigger the "cluster" of the color, the higher the amount of points you get. What makes Audiosurf unique from other rhythm games is that it automatically generates tracks from your audio files so you can essentially play any audio file on your computer in this game.

For most players Audiosurf is just about the Mono mode, as it's simple and easy to understand - you just collect the colored blocks while avoiding the greys, but if you want to delve deeper into the game there is also a lot of depth to it with the gasp Puzzle modes.

Personally I'm into Pointman on Elite difficulty as it can play every song from 70 traffic to 300+ so it's a great character for album exploration, but there are also some wild modes in the game like Double Vision which has the highest scoring potential, but is also the hardest mode to master as it was made for co-op gameplay with 2 vehicles over 4 lanes, one controlled by keyboard on the left 2 lanes and another by mouse on the right 2 lanes; However on the top level you control both of the vehicles yourself which makes it difficult to get into.

Scoring in this game is a bit messy as there are a lot of hidden mechanics the game doesn't even tell you about. The most important being chain bonus which increases your points up to 5x multiplier. You can see this as a bar which is shown at the bottom of the HUD when playing a song and the length of this bar reflects your chain level. Everytime you make a cluster of one color and clear it your chain level goes up, but if you don't touch a block in ~2 second from scoring your last "match" (combination of the colored clusters) your chain is reseted, and since you usually gain 3-4x the points when keeping your chain up, naturally the first thing into mastering the Puzzle modes is to try to keep your chain up during the entirety of the song, but since songs have slow parts on them, especially in the transitions, where the game is not generating many blocks, sometimes it's practically impossible to keep your chain during the entirety of it. Since your multiplier value increases by your chain level, common strategy at the start of the songs is to make different colored clusters of only 3 over and over again so that you quickly increase your chain bonus to a proper multiplier before going for the big matches to score points.

Additionally there is Sync bonus which increases your points if you have clusters of at least 2 different colors on your grid, so the optimal way to score is to do just that; collect and connect clusters of 2 colors and 2 colors only, with the colors changing depending on the pace of the track - on Elite mode on slower parts of the tracks you may want to collect blues and greens, while on the big downhill fast parts you should concentrate on yellows and reds, and greens and yellows in the middle of the 2 paces. Collecting purple is only useful if you need them to keep your chain up or to extend your match, or at the start of the songs to raise your chain level.

Puzzle mode characters have different individual bonuses that are unique to them so your gameplay changes depending on which character you play. Pusher and Eraser get 100% match bonus for "clean matches" aka your grid not having any leftover colors when you clear your match, and Double Vision gives you 100% match bonus on Elite if you manage to connect a color cluster between the 2 middle lanes.

The final bonuses you can increase your score with are given to you after you finish the song and multiply your entire base score making them very important. Clean Finish where you have no blocks on your grid at the end of the song which gives you 25% multiplier, 3 tiers of Match bonuses where if you get a match of 7, 11 or 21 blocks during any part of the track, you get the same % number as a multiplier (but you can only get one of them) and lastly Butter Ninja and Seeing Red where if you manage to collect 95% of either yellow or red blocks you get 5% multiplier for each, which makes it mostly exclusive to Pointman. For Mono you have unique bonus Stealth which gives you 30% multiplier if you don't hit any gray blocks.

All of that makes scoring sound complicated, but you will eventually understand the system when you get into the game and get higher and higher scores. Whether you stick to Mono or explore the Puzzle modes, you will have a good time in this game if you are big into exploring music.

Unfortunately as of 2023 the website functions of the game were removed, so there is no longer the community aspect of the game with everyone having their own Playerpages showcasing their achievements, character usage, thrones (most popular songs where they are ranked #1) and other fun stuff with also the capability of leaving comments on the page, or players competing on Today's Top Scores where all the best scores of the day were ranked by their respective "Skill Rating" score, another core metric of the game rating your performance that was unfortunately website exclusive, so that dampens the Audiosurf experience quite a bit from its golden days.
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guy_jin 2023-09-23T00:05:47Z
2023-09-23T00:05:47Z
3.5
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My 25 Favorite Games I Played Before Turning 25, #23
If we're judging quality purely by time spent playing a game, Audiosurf 2 would clearly take the #1 spot as I've spent over 2000 hours either playing it competitively or using it as a music visualizer. AS2 certainly looks better of the two from a graphical standpoint, though as a video game, Audiosurf 1 is by far the more realized one. That's not to say the systems in Audiosurf 1 are perfect. The camera is wild and tends to veer away from the playing field on sharp turns. The match timer is also completely useless on easier difficulties. For the sake of keeping this review comprehensible, I won't be going into specific details of the various systems that factor into this game's scoring. Just keep in mind that there's a lot of them!

Being able to choose a favorite between the two games is immediately apparent to me when I open up Audiosurf 1. A loud crack of electricity plays and the game boots up with a simple electronic tune that plays over its colorful and cleanly organized main menu. It's like booting up Windows XP, but better. All of the characters are immediately listed in front of you, leaving you to decide which ones to try out first.

Audiosurf is a game focused on music, but it's not focused on rhythm. That's why this works so much better than say, Codemasters' Dance Factory. When playing outside of the Mono modes, this becomes a puzzle game that requires coordination skills similar to Tetris or Puyo Puyo. It's not just about collecting colored blocks, but about knowing which colors to collect, where exactly to put them, and timing the matches to optimize scoring. When you start learning about the various combo systems in the game, you will soon realize that high level Audiosurf puzzle play requires a ton of brain power. And hand speed! Most players opt for the most simple mode, Mono (or one of its more difficult variants), which is no more complicated than picking up colored blocks and avoiding grey blocks. While mono scores can't compete with high level puzzle-mode scores, it proves to be a unique challenge of speed and precision, especially on tracks with high block density.

Although AS2 is far better for visualizer purposes, AS1 was the first to hammer in each song as its own 'track' that could be ridden like a rollercoaster. You could throw in any music from any genre and end up getting something completely unique. This leads to the community scouting out which songs are the most difficult ones, which could range anywhere from trance, to hardcore, to experimental electronic music. It's because of this and the high skill ceiling that the game has essentially infinite replayability. Even if you have played every audio file on your computer, there will always be room for improvement.

I've never gotten particularly skilled at this game, though I've gotten a handful of top scores on popular songs using the Eraser mode or the Vegas mode (which let me just say, once you figure out how to optimize Vegas mode, it feels like you're cheating. I wouldn't recommend this to anybody unless you're REALLY desperate for a high score). I don't regret the time I spent with it because ultimately, I'm just listening to music and playing games like I normally would. This isn't a bad way to combine the two.

Content breakdown
------------------------
3 difficulties of gameplay
6 unique gameplay styles (characters)
13 total characters
3 auto-generated score goals to beat for any given song (these are very easy to beat)
online leaderboards for every song, separated by character difficulty
additional gameplay modifiers that can be added onto any song
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capeseverywhere 2021-05-08T20:57:19Z
2021-05-08T20:57:19Z
9.0
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Audiosurf is a puzzle game with the presentation of a futuristic racer. The tracks are generated based on the user's choice of music, and this determines the look and feel of the track; the gradient, the type of notes that appear, and their frequency. You move your levitating vehicle across the multi-lane highway, collecting blocks in order to score points.

You can choose any track from your music collection which the game then generates the track for you to play. Slow parts generate slow moving, uphill sections, while faster parts generate fast downhill sections. It's great to experiment with different genres of music to see the tracks they produce, and you potentially have virtually unlimited levels to experience.

The goal of the game is to make as many colour clusters on the board which you make by touching 3 or more blocks of the same colour, but can keep hitting blocks to gain larger chains before they disappears. Clusters can be any shape as long as they are touching and you achieve more points with bigger clusters. Points are exponentially with higher cluster blocks, plus bonuses are awarded when reaching 7,11, 21 (entire board) block chains. Each colour is worth different points, warmer colours are worth more than the cold ones. Hot colours are frequent when song is intense and conversely, the cool colours tend to come in calm sections. The mini map shows the gradient so you can try plan ahead. Leaderboards are separated by difficulty; Casual, Pro, Elite and you can filter based on friends, global or nearby players.

Various power-ups can be grabbed throughout the track. There's a power-up which throws several same coloured blocks onto your board, multiplier power-ups give your next cluster a scoring boost, paint power-ups can turn all of the blocks in your board the same colour; which basically gives you a free, high-scoring cluster. By finishing with an empty board, you gain a Clean Finish which gives a whopping 25% score bonus.

Different vehicles are available for selection, each with various abilities. Eraser can get rid of a specified colour, Vegas generates power-ups and can shuffle the board, Pusher can make blocks switch lanes, Pointman can hold blocks for later, Double Vision is basically a multi-player experience. Mono simplifies the game by having only one colour plus greys; which don't chain so are best avoided since you gain bonuses. Despite being a totally different style of game, Mono shares the leaderboards with the rest of the vehicles which it is either no way as high scoring, or way more high scoring.

Audiosurf is a cool game with virtually unlimited replay value. You will enjoy the game if you have a varied music collection and are competitive when it comes to scoring. It even implements the Audioscrobbler protocol so can submit your music statistics to Last.FM (a music based social network site that tracks listening history to compile charts and recommendations). If you aren't that interested in music or high-scores, the Audiosurf will only provide limited enjoyment. Personally, I found it decent enough, but wasn't exciting enough to be deemed a classic.
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CaptainClam 2017-09-29T23:05:41Z
2017-09-29T23:05:41Z
3.5
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The matching of song and randomly generated chart is closer than you would think but is still not there. A mostly pointless time-waster with some admittedly great visuals that aren't too taxing.
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Lowlander2 2017-09-04T11:54:20Z
2017-09-04T11:54:20Z
3.0
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Catalog

pegg AudioSurf 2024-04-10T13:07:40Z
2024-04-10T13:07:40Z
3.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Chili88 AudioSurf 2024-03-28T21:30:36Z
2024-03-28T21:30:36Z
3.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
CaptainPlasma AudioSurf 2024-03-19T09:35:46Z
Windows
2024-03-19T09:35:46Z
3.5
1
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
eliottstaten AudioSurf 2024-03-16T21:48:54Z
2024-03-16T21:48:54Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
worstcaseontario AudioSurf 2024-03-13T09:44:12Z
Windows
2024-03-13T09:44:12Z
5.5 /10
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Gibbous AudioSurf 2024-03-06T04:06:00Z
2024-03-06T04:06:00Z
2.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
jdgardenback AudioSurf 2024-02-25T07:32:06Z
2024-02-25T07:32:06Z
5.25
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
LOVE_ME_FOREVER_FOREVER AudioSurf 2024-02-24T11:23:31Z
2024-02-24T11:23:31Z
3.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
mph AudioSurf 2024-02-06T06:36:28Z
2024-02-06T06:36:28Z
1
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Finnegan1441 AudioSurf 2024-02-05T11:13:56Z
2024-02-05T11:13:56Z
2.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
jiux AudioSurf 2024-01-25T14:13:54Z
2024-01-25T14:13:54Z
1
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
myAphelion AudioSurf 2024-01-23T21:39:00Z
2024-01-23T21:39:00Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Player modes
1-2 players
Media
Download
Multiplayer modes
Cooperative
Multiplayer options
Local
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  • Previous comments (9) Loading...
  • CrackTheSky 2022-10-18 14:43:45.487515+00
    This game completely absorbed me in my college days 12+ years ago. I have 262 hours in it, and I still fire it up from time to time, it's still ridiculously fun. Unfortunately too many people just played Mono and never explored the game past that, but if you get into playing the actual puzzle characters, there's a huge amount of depth and fun to be had. Imo it's a really special game, if you have a music collection on your HDD.
    reply
    • NickShutter 2023-01-23 04:01:23.974823+00
      Pusher and Eraser are great, the real highlights of the gameplay for me.
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  • Sharked98 2023-02-15 17:43:48.104683+00
    Happy 15th!
    reply
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  • feargm 2023-02-17 16:43:54.613731+00
    happy 15th!
    reply
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  • Miry 2023-02-21 16:54:50.108215+00
    was a cool concept - being able to play any song you wanted - but the gameplay would get old pretty quickly.
    reply
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  • townandcountry 2023-09-16 23:08:20.724597+00
    This and Run exist in the same universe.
    reply
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  • benadryller 2023-09-18 00:42:05.053234+00
    on the leaderboard for travis scott skyfall
    reply
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  • renegadexavier06 2024-03-18 20:05:33.185159+00
    The Virgin Stepmania vs The Chad Guitar Hero vs The Lad Audiosurf
    reply
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