Rush Bros is a music infused Platform Racing Game that blends music with challenging 2d platforming. When I say challenging, think of something along the lines of Super Meat Boy; still with me? Good. The concept isn’t much different than other players in this genre, make your way to the end of the level in the fastest time possible with the least amount of deaths. The game features a brief story that sets the whole tone for the game. Bass and Treble, two big time music DJs, split their successful duo to become independent artists. Both DJs become successful in their own right and of course if there are two of something, we all have to know which is better. So to determine the better DJ, they take the obvious route and decide to race against one another.
There is no real objective here other than to finish fast and finish with the least amount of deaths. In single player you’re just racing a clock and trying to beat the best times. You have 43 levels and a paltry two power ups to mess around with. Some of these levels can get ridiculous and live up to the genre of hard platformers. You can “re-mix” it up a bit for some added variety by choosing fast forward mode, to speed up the game, or a mode where you only get one life. One, freaking, life.
The heart of this game lies in it’s multiplayer. You can challenge other DJs online or locally if you don’t mind your couch-mate screaming in your ear how many times they’ve died. For the online, it’s actually very easy to just jump right into a game as there is an option to enable challenges from other players in a drop in drop out style of play. I would sit there messing around with a section of a level and then out of nowhere a challenger appears and I would be starting a race against random opponent. For those who dislike interruptions, It is just an option so if you needed to focus on practice then by golly gee you can practice. As mentioned earlier, you get two power ups in single player, which are Speed Up and Double Jump. In multiplayer, they drop other power ups that can mess with the opposing DJ, things like zooming their camera in and effectively killing their field of view. With the added challenge of another player and still trying to outrun the clock, the multiplayer is quite a blast to play.
Anyone can just jump right in and start enjoying some platforming as the controls are super simple; a button to jump and a button to interact with objects. Other than the physical controls, your DJ has the ability to cling onto walls reach higher points and to slow your descent. You don’t hang there forever so you need to keep moving or you’ll fall and probably end up on a spike strip, or get launched backwards by a spring having to start a section over. Of course early levels ease you in then get stupid hard later on. The level design is mostly well thought out and will test your patience at times, but for a “seasoned veteran” of the genre you may not find anything too particularly innovative here.
Where the game differs from the recently popular expletive inducing super difficult platformers is it’s mix of difficulty and heart pounding music. The beat of the song you’re listening to will affect certain characteristics of a level, things like obstacles that move up and down or platforms that appear with the beat of the song. If something is just going to fast, you are able to swap the song on the fly and use one with a slower tempo. The included songs are dance and trance mixes which makes sense, being DJs and all. Sadly, this doesn’t work nearly as well with your own library of music. It is an option to pop in your own .MP3s to run around with but I couldn’t see much of a difference it was making within the levels unless I went with drastic changes in tempo. I recommend just sticking with the music within the game, it’s nice and catchy but maybe that’s because I sort of like that dance mix stuff.
The game itself has a nice neon charm about it. It’s a perfect fit with the DJ theme and the dance club tunes pounding out your speakers. The backgrounds are vibrant and the art is simple. The characters lack any sort of real animation, but it’s not something I hold against it or the rest of the art as it all still feels connected and looks like it’s just plain fun.
Unfortunately, Rush Bros.’ music platforming didn’t hold my attention for too long. The game peaks very fast so you may find yourself playing this game in small bursts rather than lengthy sessions. While it’s enjoyable playing with other people, the solo mode just didn’t match that same level of enjoyment.
A Steam code was provided by PR for review purposes