Rush Bros [PC Review]

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Rush Bros is a platform racing game from XYLA Entertainment. Rush Bros is from a small development studio that I’m sure most of you have never heard of before, but don’t let that scare you away. I’ve actually found that these small studios develop some of the most creative and innovative games you’ll ever play and Rush Bros is no different. Despite it being labeled as a platformer, it’s much more than that. It’s a combination platformer, racer, and puzzler with a kick-butt music soundtrack that enhances gameplay.

Graphics

Rush Bros definitely has an interesting art style. The game consists of 3 graphic layers, the foreground, middle ground, and the background. I’ll start with the background art and say that these are beautifully drawn. They look like digitally painted backgrounds that are colorful and vivid. The background changes depending on what level you’re on but each one is just as nice as the others. The middle ground adds moving elements to the background image, for instance one level has a forest type background and the middle ground displays falling leaves. This makes the whole background appear alive.

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The foreground however is where the art style sort of changes up on you and doesn’t quite match up with the background. The foreground is very dark and black with traces of neon elements scattered about. The foreground basically looks like a silhouette but some parts of it contain textures for some reason while other parts do not. It’s a big contrast from the background and doesn’t quite match up, but it does match up to the feel of the game which is some sort of techno ridden futuristic punk theme.

Character designs are a bit simplistic and consist of a blacked out character with wither red or blue accents depending on which you choose. Animations are pretty good though for each of the characters despite their simplistic nature.

Music

Screenshot_05That brings me to the music aspect of the game which is very good. Because the main characters you play as are DJs, it makes sense that the audio track in the game would be very club-ish. It’s very fast paced electronic dance music and really gets your head bopping. The music makes you want to run faster though that’s not always a good thing as you’ll find yourself getting a bit ahead of yourself and dying very often. But who cares, the music is awesome. There were times I would turn on the game just to listen to the music and let it just sit there without ever starting a game.

Yes, I know not everyone likes tehno infused dance music or electronica, but it really does add to the atmosphere of the game as well as the upbeat, face-paced nature of the gameplay. It surely doesn’t take away from it and if you really wanted to, you can turn it off or use your own music.

On that note, you may notice as your playing that the music seems to affect the way the level elements interact with each other. It seems like certain elements in the game move depending on the beat of whatever music you are playing. So fast-paced music will see some traps and obstacles move faster while slower music will do the reverse.

Gameplay

Rush Bros is a fast paced, side scrolling platform racer. The goal really is to get from point A to point B as fast as you can. Rush Bros plays like your traditional platformer. Think Mario Bros. but slightly faster paced, no enemies to contend with, and the ability to grab walls and jump off them in order to get to higher spots. Actually, there are “enemies” to contend with, but it’s just one. If you choose to play online or locally via split screen, you will be competing against another opponent in a race to the finish.

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The game itself isn’t a pushover either. The level designs and layouts are wildly creative and must require quick thinking to get through them unscathed, which it literally impossible. You’re going to die many, many times in this game but luckily, there are infinite lives. You just have to make it to the finish line. There are several things in the game that will help you along the way, mainly power-ups. These are items that give your character an added push and advantage when traversing the levels. You’ll find them scattered about each level and they’ll give your character boosts like 2x speed or the ability to double jump. It is possible though to get through levels without these, but it does make it that much more difficult. Thankfully you can still grab onto walls to get to higher platforms, so that helps.

I did mention that in a way, the game can be thought of as a puzzler as well seeing as you do need to find the correct way to the finish line and on some, there are doors that need to be opened up you’ll have to find the right keys to do so. There are also levers that need to be manipulated to perform some action required to pass certain areas. It really does have a little bit of everything.

For those who don’t want to play Rush Bros as a multiplayer game, you can play the entire game in single player trial mode. That means you are basically just running through each level on your own with no real time limit. This allows you to learn each level and to learn the best methods for getting through each one quickly. It won’t record a time you set but it will tell you how many times you died.

Of note, if you are using a control pad with this game, like the Xbox 360 controller, you may find that there is the slightest of delays between your button presses and what occurs onscreen. It doesn’t happen all the time, but when it does, it does screw you up at times and can cause death. For best results, stick to using the keyboard.

Features

• Split-Screen Competitive Play
• 30 Unique Levels Packed with Puzzles, Obstacles and Traps
• Single Player Trial Mode
• Steamworks™ Integration with Leader Boards, Statistics and Matchmatching System
• Ability to Integrate and Play to Your Favorite Music
• Your Favorite Music Affects Stylized Level Environments

Final Thoughts

Overall, Rush Bros is a really fun game and a fantastic addition to the platformer genre. It’s not your usual platformer though there are elements in it that would make it seem as such. XYLA Entertainment did a great job of expanding the traditional platformer and including elements from other genres in there such as puzzling and racing. My favorite thing about the game however has to be the game’s soundtrack which is one of the best I’ve heard in an indie game. Gameplay however isn’t far behind and if you are a fan of side-scrolling platformers, you’ll have a blast with Rush Bros whether you are playing alone, going head to head with friends, or even the occasional random player.

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