Review by Phil Wilson
Rush Bros is a self-proclaimed music-integrated platform-racing game. There are two main selling points used to advertise this game. The first one is that you can either use your own library of music or the default selection and the beat will be dynamically infused within the gameplay. The second point is the high-octane thrill of the speedy competitive multiplayer. Does both halves mesh well? Let’s find out.
Rush Bros is comprised of almost fifty levels in which you’re able to move, slide, and jump. Within those levels you’ll sometimes acquire a couple power-ups like a double-jump or a faster run. There are dangerous obstacles to avoid and there is no penalty for when you die, you’ll immediately pop in the same spot. However, a lot of the levels require you to collect these color-coded keys which allow you to backtrack and find the door to progress farther into the level. I understand that this game is designed with speed in mind, which means either trying to beat your friends or setting records, but even so, I couldn’t help but be incredibly bored by each level. The level design seems uninspired, completely mediocre and there’s no satisfying sense of speed. Much like how you can make cheap jokes in comedy or scares in horror, you can make a cheap sense of challenge in platfomers, which is exactly what Rush Bros achieves.
The music selection that Rush Bros comes with is all actually pretty decent; it’s very well done and by far the best part of the game. You have a very nice selection of genre-infused electronica tracks that will easily get your foot tapping. As I mentioned earlier, the game is also able to use music from your own personal library and combine it with the gameplay experience, however, even this isn’t implemented in a meaningful way. Most obstacles will protrude and retract on the beat and other parts of the level will pulsate. This could potentially be interesting if it was one-for-one accuracy with the beat, but it’s not, it just seems to be emulating the general tempo of the beat. Not to mention that if you want to change the speed of tempo, you can just cycle through songs on the fly. I’m just not entirely certain what they were going for here.
I played most of the game on single player, but I did play quite a few multiplayer matches as well and this is definitely where the game shines. Granted, I say that in the most generous of terms, as I wouldn’t even put the multiplayer above the likes of Sonic the Hedgehog 2 ‘s split-screen multiplayer, but it is a lot more fun than just playing the game by yourself. I brought up Sonic 2 because the multiplayer is essentially that, a race to completion. With Sonic 2 though, the level design is better and it gives you a huge arsenal of power-ups to help you screw over your opponent. With Rush Bros it’s a little bit more standard, but it’s still a lot of fun to try and beat your friend, although, I would give that point to the euphoric desire of competition rather than the game itself.
Overall, I think that Rush Bros is extremely disappointing and way too unexceptional. In a world filled with outstanding indie games, Rush Bros is completely out of its league and cannot compete. I want to stress the fact that I don’t think this game is terrible, it’s definitely on the line of competence, but it just doesn’t do anything that well or exciting and you kind of have to be better than that at this point. Even looking at it from the angle of “what if you’ve barely played indie games or games of this genre” I still think that you would find this game no more than mediocre. There is a lot of potential here, and it still has the opportunity to grow and get tighter, but as of right now, I wouldn’t recommend Rush Bros to anybody.
Review: 3 (out of 7)
Note: (I just want to state that this review is based off of the Steam version, but I’ve also played the trial version on Ouya. I just want to quickly talk about the Ouya version for a moment. This is not the version to play, at least not yet. I’m not sure if it’s the game’s or the Ouya’s fault, but there are some major latency issues and all around strange behavior with the controls. Movement is too slippery, your character continuously jumps if you hold the button down, and there’s sometimes a noticeable delay with button reaction time. It’s a mess and completely ruins any sense of precision that you need with a platformer. I haven’t played enough Ouya yet to figure out if it’s an all-around console problem or the game itself, but even still, on your PC you have access to all of your music and it’s much easier to find people to play multiplayer compared to a brand new niche console. So, I wouldn’t touch the Ouya version just yet.)