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Rush Bros Review

Published July 5, 2013 by |

Despite all the complex 3D graphics that modern day PCs can produce there’s still plenty of fun to be found in the simplicity of 2D visuals. Platforming titles like Super Meat Boy and Braid have proved this point by garnering critical acclaim. Rush Bros is yet another title in this genre aiming to make an impact with its own interesting blend of music, racing and competitive multiplayer.

At its core Rush Bros is a somewhat basic platforming game that challenges players to get their DJ character across the finish line in each level. There’s no major premise behind all this aside from two rival DJs wanting to know who is the fastest. Movement is easy to grasp with jumps, sliding and wall running the only three real skills. The speed at which your DJ moves normally is a little slow but despite that it’s still very responsive. Although the game can be played using a keyboard using a game controller would definitely be advised.

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One thing that this game does to try and stand out from the crowd is its unique approach music within the context of the gameplay. Levels actively respond to the pumping soundtrack and the various traps move realistically to the beat, at least that’s the theory. When it works it feels like something akin to a tightly choreographed dance as you dodge the hazards using the music as your cue. Sadly this doesn’t always work in as noticeable way as you’d hope, this is even more prevalent when you import your own musical tracks into the mix. For such a strongly touted game feature it just isn’t quite that well realised.

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Art stylings in Rush Bros perfectly fit the DJ nature of the game with neon pulsating backgrounds that wouldn’t look out of a place in a real club. There’s plenty of colour on offer and this provides a treat for the eyes which makes it a very pleasing place to race through. Levels are suitably challenging with the hazards and precarious jumps forming the main contest as you make your way through them. Characters on offer aren’t quite as striking as the surroundings but they still manage to match the overall aesthetic. Animations are subtle but certainly not lacking.

Multiplayer is a big focus of Rush Bros in what seems like a cross between Sonic The Hedgehog and Super Meat Boy as players challenge one another to race from the start of the level to the end. All of this happens in real time, unlike racing ghost of your friends, with victory requiring a combination of luck and memory of levels you’ve already played. Put simply, don’t expect to beat your competition on platforming skill alone.

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The luck side of things comes in the form of power-ups and power-downs that are scattered through the courses. Speed ups are the best bonus to improve your chances whereas inverting the controls of an opponent or zooming their screen in so they can barely see around them are the best ways t0 hinder. The latter can often feel like they are too powerful and can completely lose a race for the other player. While it may be fun to use them being on the receiving end can be frustrating to say the least.

Outside of the multiplayer there are 30 single player levels to keep you busy. Sadly these are the same as what’s available in the multiplayer so in reality it’s just a training mode for the online. There are two variations that either apply a super speed to the level or only give a single life to get to the finish line. So if you don’t fancy playing online then there’s not too much content to get your teeth into aside from leaderboard climbing.

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While Rush Bros may seem like a intriguing platformer on paper, it’s execution doesn’t quite live up to those lofty heights. The music and its effect on the levels works well with the game’s built in soundtrack but when using your own songs it’s a very mixed bag.

If you are a fan of multiplayer racing and leaderboards then this game may tickle your fancy but as a solo gamer you’ll may feel a little short changing with its longevity. That said it’s still an adequate platformer with some striking visuals and for £6.99 it’s unlikely to break the bank.

6/10
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