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    HomeTechnologyWhy Games Like Trombone Champ Are Meant To Be Played Badly

    Why Games Like Trombone Champ Are Meant To Be Played Badly

    Trombone Champ has become a hit on social media and among Let’s Play or streamers, but arguably only because players aren’t meant to be good at it. Once it became a viral sensation, Trombone Champ exploded in popularity on Steam, and developer Holy Wow Studios shared its gratitude with the gaming community. Its viral status stems from the earliest posts that shared finicky trombone-controlling gameplay and comical, often surreal visuals.

    Trombone Champ isn’t alone; it is just the latest game in a growing genre that seems to revel in impossible gameplay. For example, developer Bossa Studios has a storied history with indie games like Surgeon Simulator, I Am Bread, and I Am Fish, which all reflect the same absurd premises and finicky controls that made otherwise straightforward titles intensely entertaining. These can be mastered with enough time, patience, and luck, but for games like Trombone Champ, this isn’t the point. It speaks to a different niche of players that traditional games can often overlook.


    RELATED: How Trombone Champ Turns Guitar Hero Concepts Into a Viral Online Spectacle

    Games like Trombone Champ Aren’t Meant To Be Serious

    While most developers would set out to create an immersive experience complemented by characters and lore, there are games that don’t take themselves so seriously. Though this doesn’t always garner critical acclaim, games that embrace the silliness of their premise can be positively received. For instance, games like Octodad: Dadliest Catch succeed by making the absurdity a core part of its story and gameplay. Likewise, Trombone Champ was never meant to be taken seriously.

    At face value, it’s clear Trombone Champ was going to be an odd game. From the Mii-like avatars to bizarre in-game visuals, it broadcasts absurdity. When the gameplay actually starts and players need to time their notes with nothing but a trombone, it quickly becomes apparent that the game shouldn’t be taken seriously at any level. By its very nature, it seems the game was designed to be shared online. Players who play poorly can invite others to share in the experience of a musical train wreck and collectively laugh with Trombone Champ.

    Games Designed To Be Played Badly Are Fun

    Ultimately, this is the underpinning ethos of games designed to be played poorly. Often seen in strange simulation titles like Surgeon Simulator or I Am Bread, the absurdity and complicated, ineffective controls create spectacle. While these games can be enjoyed solo, it is more entertaining to share. This is evident when considering the first Surgeon Simulator didn’t offer any multiplayer, but its sequel Surgeon Simulator 2 fixed that. For a game about complex surgery in strange scenarios, the phrase “too many cooks spoil the broth” clearly applies.

    Trombone Champ works on the same principle. On its own, Trombone Champ can be a fun experience, but it offers more if shared with others. By taking the natural pitfalls of rhythm games and reworking their potential, Trombone Champ invites the player to try their best but celebrate failures. These games provide a win-win scenario, where even if players are bad they will have fun. With Trombone Champ’s exponential success, it might even consider adding multiplayer to share the spectacle of novice trombone enthusiasts.

    Trombone Champ is available now for PC.

    MORE: 6 Games That Were Bad On Purpose



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