Review: Rush Bros

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I can’t imagine there’s a huge market for speedrunning games, yet I see more and more of them every year. I mean, you don’t HAVE to make a game about speedrunning, you can just make something like Super Meat Boy that supports and encourages speedrunning while having plenty more to keep people hooked. Otherwise you end up with something like Rush Bros, which sacrifices story and atmosphere and exploration and pretty much everything I like about platformers in favor of making you run through bland levels again and again. And no, the D-lister techno soundtrack is not going to save it.

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Seriously, there’s no story here. You play as a little neon DJ shuffling though visual cacophonies of black platforms and WinAmp visualizer backgrounds that pulse to the music. There are traps like spikes and… sharp things that move to the beat as well, so you’ll need to run and jump and walljump around them. Most levels have doors locked with colored keys so they’re not a straight shot through, as well as temporary powerups like double jumps and speed boosts to help you zoom through tricky spots.

That’s it. We’re done here. There’s no care or artistry put into the levels, they’re just platforms and doors to work your way through. None of them give a sense of speed or daring that you would get from Dustforce or Super Meat Boy or even Sonic. Your DJs aren’t even very fast, and can’t pull off anything more complicated than a limp wall jump. There’s just no reason to work at speedrunning these levels because there’s no mastery to achieve here. You’re not going to find clever shortcuts or reflex tests, it’s just following the same boring path over and over.

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There’s something like forty levels, and some extra game modes on top of that, but who cares? Rush Bros is incredibly effective at exactly one thing, and that’s sucking every drop of possible enjoyment from speedrunning. The levels are twisty, plodding crap and the music is embarrassingly amateur-hour. Literally anything else would be more fun to speedrun, going all the way back to the original NES and beyond. Don’t bother with this for any reason. Just don’t.

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