Being one of the top 10 best-selling games on Steam right now simply couldn’t be better Trombone Championtotally ridiculous and hilarious trombone sim-cum-Guitar Hero game from one of the funniest developers in the industry. But given the ambiguity of the game’s themes, it’s also surprising.
I watch the games Trombone Champion‘s developer, Holy Wow, has been around for over a decade now. Without foundation Icarus Proudbottom In: The Curse of the Chocolate Fountainto an endless collection of hilarious multiplayer mini-games where a man propels himself through the sky with the power of his own excrement, Icarus Proudbottom’s Writing Party, and everything in between, games from indie developers have been making me laugh for years. I say these things to brag that I knew before it was cool. And wow, husband-and-wife team Dan Vecchitto and Jackie Lalli are cool now.
“No and no!” Vecchitto says when I ask him if he saw this kind of success in his previous Holy Wow game and expects it this time. The earlier games were a bit sloppy, Vecchitto explained, as he’s a self-taught coder, but rose above his peers because of how funny they were. Trombone Champion marks another evolutionary step forward, it’s a gorgeous UI that belies Nintendo Mii-like graphics and hideous crap gameplay.
In Trombone Championyou should try to play the trombone through one Guitar Hero –like interface, move your mouse up and down to match the approaching lines, hold the “toot” button while crossing the line. Other than that, the mouse movement is inverted, revoltingly unstable, and everything is deliberately difficult. And that makes for fun times. Fun times that are definitely worthy of success, coverage and top 10 positions from major gaming sites that usually ignore these kind of quirky indie games Steam’s new graphicsbut no one expected that?
“I always thought the concept was funny,” explains Vecchitto via Twitter DMs, “and I expected that various video clips of the game might go viral, but I didn’t expect the game itself to take off like it did.” So why does he think he might be? “It seems to hit a lot of audiences: casual gamers; real music game lovers; real brass players; ska fans (it turns out there are a lot of them!); and so on. I’m still confused as to why it took off like this.”
I wonder if this means he might want to re-release his previous game library now that the rest of the world has finally woken up to Holy Wow. Maybe they leave them in gold-plated boxes. “I would love to shoot HD Icarus Proudbottom Teaches Writing” Vecchitto is immediately encouraged. It might as well. As Nathan Grayson (late of this church) once wrote, “Icarus Proudbottom Teaches Writing it’s incredible.” And indeed, despite being released in 2013, it looks a bit archaic.
“I would also like to do something really updated Writing party and produce more arcade cabinets,” continues Vecchitto. “We have one right now Writing party cabinet Wonderville in Brooklynand it’s tempting to make more and try to spread them across indie arcades across the country.
“But with Trombone Champion‘s success,” adds Dan, “I think we’ll spend some time on it.” Not bad for a game he’s done in the evenings and on weekends around a full-time job. While previous Holy Wow games were more evenly split between a married development team, Trombone Champion was closer to a solo project. Vecchitto explains: “I’m comfortable spending my nights and weekends playing such a silly game, but I didn’t want to ruin my single wife’s free time either.”