O n Wednesday morning, I saw a tweet from games magazine PC Gamer that made me leak from the eyes with laughter. It contained a video, in which a wide-eyed, pained-looking cartoon trombonist struggled to hit the notes of Beethoven’s Fifth while the composer himself stared sombrely out of the screen in evident disapproval. It is a golden comedic combination of terrible music, fart noises, earnestness and absurdity. This is the video game Trombone Champ, and it has since gone wildly viral.
Of course I immediately downloaded it. I’ve been playing rhythm games for more than 20 years, from Beatmania to Guitar Hero to Amplitude via fun musical contraptions in Japanese arcades, and I take them embarrassingly seriously. Trombone Champ is not serious; it is a wonderful blend of accidental musical comedy, trading-card collection, made-up facts about trombones and hotdogs (“The first trombone was made in 200,000,000BC”), and true facts about baboons. (Don’t ask about the baboons. This game has unexpected secrets and the baboons are one of them.)
The world's first trombone rhythm game is instantly a GOTY contender. And no, I'm not kidding. Turn up the volume and hear Beethoven like you've never heard it before. https://t.co/Qu7Cmkhjzc pic.twitter.com/jTXNdWx3Zm