How Trombone Champ Turns Guitar Hero Concepts Into a Viral Online Show


The new release trombone champion is a decidedly unique and engrossing take on the otherwise saturated and long-running rhythm game genre. Deceptively simple and full of comedy, the title proved to be an overnight hit in terms of internet presence and popularity.

Be a rhythm game, trombone champion naturally takes much of its core gameplay mechanics from other massive rhythm franchises such as Guitar Hero, but actually enough to stand entirely on its own two feet. While its gameplay is decidedly unique, it’s how the title achieved such instant viral status that intrigues many gamers.


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Trombone Champion Basics

trombone champion is an indie title recently released on Steam, developed and published by New York-based studio Holy Wow. Being a rhythm game, the title’s core gameplay revolves around sync button presses to match the overwhelming amount of beats and notes that appear on screen.

The title, however, is unique in the comical and almost burlesque way in which it is conducted. Like a real trombone, players are able to hold notes and slide octaves up and down to match other rhythms while having to watch their breathing, often leading to a range of fun sounds. The often vibrant and goofy backgrounds and animations that appear during gameplay only enhance the comedic tone. trombone champion is also complemented by a Nintendo Mii-inspired character that moves in sync with the player’s paperclip inputs.

outside the game, trombone champion features a tongue-in-cheek take on the loot box systems often found in contemporary video games. Players earn “toots” for completing tracks well, with the game’s music catalog being almost entirely comprised of historic and iconic trombone-centric classical music tracks. Toots can be exchanged for “bags” of buy cards, which give the player four random description sheets of famous historical trombone players. These cards provide a tangible goal that the player must fully achieve, but in the process trombone champion manages to teach its musicians an element of musical history under the guise of comedy.

How the trombone champion became a viral sensation

Thanks to Holy Wow’s multifaceted emphasis on the fun sides of Trombone Champion, the game quickly managed to go viral, despite its small indie roots. While rhythm games have always been dynamic and entertaining, they are also often characterized by intense and demanding gameplay, which trombone champion is never built.

The game of trombone champion is decidedly challenging enough, but it only promotes comedic gameplay by forcing the player to slide wildly between juxtaposed octaves to create a fun range of sounds. The amusing absurdity of trombone champion is further aided only by the music that is actually played, with musicians regularly inadvertently butchering the works of classical music icons such as Beethoven and Mozart.

The funniest clips of trombone champion are easily shareable and digestible, since viewers don’t have to understand anything else about the title to appreciate any gameplay they may come across, which only helps its rapid level of viral attention. Moreover, the immediate association with the title Guitar Hero –as the mechanics provide an instant connection between what is generally considered serious, meticulous gameplay with more overtly relaxed, lower-stakes gameplay. With the lack of seriousness in what is otherwise a very focused and difficult genre, combined with recognizable music and a flamboyant flair, it’s no wonder that trombone champion achieved the kind of instant online popularity it already has.

trombone champion is now available for PC.

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