June 10, 2023

The recently released film has taken the internet by storm Trombone Champ.

This is a music rhythm game where you play a trombone. Sounds easy, right?

You would be wrong. Although it includes some famous classical pieces like Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony and Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy and even national anthems, no amount of musical knowledge will save you here.

Trombone Champ: Release Date Trailer.

The story is silly (you have to tut and improvise so you get approval from a baboon?) but the game knows it’s not meant to be serious and rolls with it well. Mix that with the awesome flat notes and Mii-esque tromboners you can create, and well, you’ve got a pitch perfect game.

Trombone Champ aims to simulate every part of trombone playing. You control the pitch by sliding your mouse up and down (which was inverted by default and I had to change immediately), and press a key when the bars move along the screen so you can play it.

This is where Trombone Champ really shines compared to other rhythm games. You can play any pitch at any time. A note doesn’t need to be within the hit-zone for you to sound The trombone champ also doesn’t stay within the confines of the normal chromatic scale we’re used to hearing music, so you can feel all the horrible off-key tones reaching you.

Trombone Champ
Just hit a left note.

Another thing that sets the Trombone Champ apart is the sliding. Trombones can slide through notes very smoothly and you can do that here too if you want. If there are two unconnected, consecutive notes that are quite far apart in pitch, you can hold down the key and slide the cursor over it. As long as you have enough breath to complete the sentence, you’re good!

Yes, there is a breath meter to contend with. Just like trombone players in real life have to learn to control their breathing and phrase a piece so they know when to breathe without ruining what they’re playing.

I consider myself decent in classical music. I’ve played the piano since I was a kid and even studied some at university, but my efforts are… quite inconsistent. I acceded to a warm up consisting of some basic scales and arpeggios, but other than that the tracks I tried struggled to get a B rating.

You earn toots for playing tracks, which are then used to buy sacks. Each sack contains four cards, which are collectible in the game. It looks like there are 50 in total, and so far I can tell you that they include instruments, composers, music clefs, a hot dog, and a red-eyed black baboon (“one of the most powerful Trombner cards”). You can sell duplicate cards for turds. I still don’t know what these are meant for, however.

Trombone champ sack drop
My bag drops included Claude Debussy and The Mightiest Baboon. This game also has a strange fascination with hot dogs – Debussy’s cards have highlighted letters and there is a card (not pictured) just for hot dogs.

There’s also a screen to choose your trombone after selecting a track to play, which suggests different instruments and orchestra sections to unlock more in the game or that appear to be yet to be added. A roadmap posted by the developer holy wow Highlights what updates are planned next.

I can’t help but be reminded Nessun Dorma sings the broom While I’m playing it, I have to admit. According to the devs, in free improvisation mode (where you can play whatever you want with no scoring system and no music), you can get a green screen background when you press the backslash key. If I knew how to edit videos, I would definitely put sweeps in this game. Plus I’m sure he’d be interested in a hot dog…

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