What would you get if you smashed Super Meat Boy with a pair of Beats headphones and a healthy dose of multiplayer competitiveness? You’ll probably get something similar to Rush Bros – It’s fast paced and loud, but does it keep you playing?
The overall description of Rush Bros seems interesting: “Rush Bros is a pulse-pounding, music infused Platform Racing Game that features a single player and a competitive multiplayer either split-screen local or online between two simultaneous racers. Rush through over 40 unique levels jam-packed with puzzles, obstacles and power-ups in a race to the finish line where the victor can literally crush his competition.” It also has the tagline “Two DJ’s enter, One DJ leaves.”
At first before I tried out Rush Bros I thought it’d involve some sort of button mashing aspect where two DJ’s literally mix music in order to control a character. I was very, very wrong. In fact my idea probably would have been a much better idea.
The overall concept is okay at best. Think a more vector based cell shaded Super Meat Boy where your main objective is to get to the end of the level before the other player. I was recommended to play the game with a friend in order to experience the game how it should be played – this immediately lead me to think that the developers themselves didn’t have much faith in the single player alone. So me and Ollie sat down one evening at opposite ends of the country and started up Rush Bros. (A local multiplayer is also available)
It’s one of those games that if you’re losing you’re immediately going to hate the game; that was my experience for the first 10 minutes anyway. After I managed to get used to the controls I was in, I managed to jump through the impossibly small gap surrounded by spikes and get ahead, I’d even collected a power up which reversed Ollie’s controls; I didn’t know what it did until I heard Ollie shout in his Geordie accent “What the fuck has happened, I’m backwards??”. A few moments later I found myself repeating the same bit over and over because I kept miss judging the gap and before I knew it Ollie’s green DJ guy was hot on my tail. Little did I know I was only a couple of jumps to the finish line until Ollie bounced passed me and plopped himself on the winning podium which in turn activated the huge crushing mechanism that smooshed my little red DJ into pieces.
A few more games later we realised that the game had two types of gaming scenario. The one mentioned above which is a type of tense, heart racing and pretty fun game to play. Another scenario however is the complete opposite. As soon as one person gains the lead and the other is left behind trying to jump through a pinhole surrounded by spikes it gets pretty boring pretty quickly. At one point I think Ollie actually turned around and waited for me.
The level designs are cleverly done, there’s a nice mix of puzzles to work your way through as well as various music note keys which need to be collected before you can progress. The keys are located on both of the players screens but once one player collects the key before the other they’ve got to be sly in order to pass through the door before it closes, or hang around for another key to regenerate. Sometimes levels even required you to go back on yourself in order to open a door to progress, but if you’re too eager you might just be opening a door to a power up.
There are various game modes to keep things interesting such as a “Fast Forward” mode to speed everything up or “Survival Mode” where it is one hit and game over – I can imagine that being very frustrating.
The level design is great. It’s simple and pretty classic. The levels are littered with hints of neon colour amongst large black obstacles and platforms littered against a futuristic city scape and the subtle cell shading adds a nice touch. Music plays a big part in this game too with tracks becoming more intense the further you progress. This does after a while melt into annoying noise that just doesn’t seem to stop. If you’re not a fan of blaring dance music you can also add your own music into the mix if you prefer which is a nice touch. The music does play more of a part that you’d think though with each type of music affecting how traps and obstacles move about something that didn’t come across too obviously whilst playing however.
Overall the game is fun for a little while but there’s something about it that just didn’t keep us interested. The level designs are great and the inclusion of different types of music did create an atmosphere. If you have a friend who likes to win all of the time this game probably isn’t for you. There is a huge collection of around 40 different tracks and it’s compatible with a game pad too which was nice, but it just doesn’t have that thing that keeps you wanting to come back.
You can get Rush Bros. on Steam for £6.99 or buy the 2 pack for you and a friend for £11.99.