Rush Bros attempts to marry the minimalistic, highly difficult platforming of games such as Super Meat Boy and I Want To Be The Guy, with the music generating gameplay of Beat Hazard or Audiosurf while putting a heavy focus on multiplayer. Unfortunately it fails abysmally at being comparable in even one of these aspects, with almost every feature going against the basic concepts it tries to establish, resulting in a game that I could barely force myself to play.
The problems with the platforming star with the controls. Your character feels as if he's made of putty, plodding along at anything but a rush and sticking to walls like glue. This is a problem firstly because the entire game is based around speedruns which become almost impossible to pull off when movement is akin to running molasses and are you're character is constantly getting stuck on the environment. Secondly, because the level designs haven't been tweaked to compensate for this slowness, with much faster hazards and gaps that are virtually impossible should you miss a speed or double jump powerup.
On top of being frustrating to navigate, the levels or to be more accurate, tracks are chock full of tedious backtracking which often sends you all the way to the start of the level after you grab a key or open a door. Checkpoints are also a point of contention as there is no rhyme or reason as to their placement or even inclusion. Some tracks feature nearly endless checkpoints before every obstacle, others without a single one to speak of which needless to say vastly changes the difficulty level.
Although it's clearly the main focus, Rush Bros manages to somehow be even worse in multiplayer games do to the completely unbalanced powerups that randomly pop up during play. Once again it goes against the core speedrunner mentality, instead resorting to unnecessary gimmicks that cheapen the thrill of winning a match.
The final aspect is the use of custom soundtracks to change and augment tracks, but it is so inconsequential and often unnoticable that it's hardly worth mentioning. The actual music that is included is of a suitably low quality, and the graphics are incohesive with each background seemingly plucked at random from the user generated reject of other games.
I had high hopes for Rush Bros, and even after playing it feel the concept of a music generated platformer has a lot of potential, but the execution here falls apart with every lazy step it takes. Though it's becoming exceedingly rare for me to play a game where I cannot find even a single redeeming quality to latch onto, but Rush Bros truly does nothing of note and there is no reason I would advise anyone to play it, not even for novelty's sake.
Posted: October 2nd, 2013