Review: Audiosurf

At a Glance

This game is recommended!
This game is not just good fun, it also stays fairly true to Christian moral values, making it a great addition to anyone's library!

ESRB Rating: NR - Not Rated
My Rating: Everyone
Genre: Rhythm / Racing
License: Commercial
Release Year: 2008
Review Published On: January 15, 2017
Played on: Martha

Available from:

Humble Store, Steam

Save System:

There's no way to save your progress during a level. However, you can pause by hitting ESC.

Summary of
Major Issues:

Any problems with this game revolve around what the players bring into it, and are limited to inappropriate comments on the leaderboards or poor music choices.


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A slower, bumpy road

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Pushers can move blocks around

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A two-handed challenge

Game Overview

Audiosurf's takes its name extremely literally, as it's a game about riding (or "surfing") along roads that were created from your music. The colors and contours of the road follow the beats, and with fourteen ways to play, there'll be at least one mode you'll enjoy. There's no story mode, so you're simply playing for fun or to earn a high score.

Getting started is extremely easy. First, pick which mode you want to use. The different modes are divided into three tiers by difficulty, though you can make all of them slightly harder by checking the "Ironmode" box at the bottom of the mode select screen. Then choose the music you want the level to be based on, and once you've chosen your track, the level is generated and you're ready to ride.

During the song, you'll see colored blocks and stone blocks along the road. To earn points, try to steer your ship (or ships) into the colored blocks to place them in your "bank" area. As you bank the colored blocks, they'll form matches and be cleared away. The larger the match, the more points you'll earn. However, be careful to avoid the stone blocks, as they don't form matches or earn you any points. If you manage to avoid them, you'll get bonus points at the end of the ride.

After the song is over, your score is tallied and, if you're logged in, it's sent to the leaderboards for that song.

Sure, Audiosurf is a simple game. But it's really rather fun and worth trying out. Of course, if you get motion sickness easily, then you'll probably want to pass on it. The twists and turns your music can generate can be hard on the stomach.

Points of Interest

Fourteen ways to play
These different modes allow you to play Audiosurf the way you want. The three Mono modes don't bother with matching colors or anything more complex than just gathering the colored pieces. Other modes, like Pointer, involve manipulating the blocks you collect to create large combos. Each tier is also ranked by difficulty, with the easier modes being slower and the harder modes featuring very high speeds.
One of the best beat detection engines out there
Audiosurf's ability to interpret any given song into a road is one of the things that made it famous. Few games are this accurate, and the fact that Audiosurf generates the level before the song is played makes it more astounding.
Steam achievements for bragging rights
There are a small handful of achievements to work towards. However, unlike your typical games that include an achievement for every level, Audiosurf expects you to show some talent to earn its awards. Many of the achievements require the song to be a certain number of minutes long, and most require pulling off some sort of tricky stunt.
Additional Music
While it's not a huge selection, Audiosurf does provide access to free internet radio. This ensures that there's always a new level or two available. If you also happen to have a account, you can connect it to Audiosurf, giving you yet another way to find new songs to ride.
You'll need a lot of music
Audiosurf's levels are created from music on your computer or from its radio service. In order to have a lot of unique levels, you'll need to have collected a fairly large and varied music library. While this is a good way to introduce people to new styles of music, it might also be an issue for children that can't afford many albums.
Motion sickness and photosensitivity warnings
There's nothing quite like flying down a bumpy, curving road to make someone come down with a lovely bout of motion sickness. Just remember, if you start feeling sick while playing any game, take a break or quit playing altogether.

Concerns and Issues

Online leaderboards and comments can be offensive
One of the downsides of an online leaderboard is that users may post something inappropriate in the comments or pick a questionable username. This can hardly the fault of the game though, and it's just a symptom of the internet in general.
Audiosurf Radio
Another possible downside is that you have little control over what is playing on the game's radio channels. Thus, there's a chance that something there may contain content you disagree with. Of course, the easy way to avoid this is simply to play music from your own collection, and if there's anything objectionable in there it's your own fault.