See The Bizarre Trombone Champ First Look

Trombone Champ allows players to experience playing trombone in realtime.

By Jason Collins | Published

Step aside Guitar Hero and Rock Band, a cool new kid just entered the orchestra, and instead of wielding a six-string battle axe, the Trombone Champ asks one simple question: have you ever played the trombone? Well, if you haven’t, now’s your chance; Trombone Champ takes the similar approach to gameplay as the aforementioned God-of-rock-and-metal games, but instead of rocking out to Motörhead and doing air guitars to Iron Maiden’s Number of the Beast, you get to play The National Anthem, Beethoven, or Scott Joplin.

But don’t be fooled by the game’s premise, the honking, blowing, and tooting game is currently one of the best-selling games on Steam, and its both utterly ridiculous and quite astonishing, considering that it’s developed by one of the funniest and most obscure developers in the gaming industry. So obscure, in fact, that our extensive Games segment has nothing on them. Regardless, the Trombone Champ is every bit as difficult as other rhythm games similar to Guitar Hero, but it’s also much more thanks to the humor that was implemented into the game.

trombone champ

However, instead of wielding a guitar controller, in Trombone Champ, you use the mouse to slide the pitch up or down, and you have to hit the pitch box precisely and then trigger the pitch by holding the assigned button. Though it sounds simple, there’s a pretty good neat feature that would make the gameplay infinitely more difficult — the slider moves in the opposite direction to your mouse, so up is down, and vice versa. It’s a small distinction, but it introduces just the right amount of confusion to the gameplay to make playing the songs much harder.

This is especially true with songs that demand speed, as errors tend to chain, revealing the game’s best-selling point: rhythmical humor. The trombonist in Trombone Champ — your avatar — actually plays the notes you hit while the song’s actual backing track runs in the background. Since your avatar is playing the lead melody, it’s easy to create whole new versions of popular songs, as the game tells you how horrible a trombone player you actually are. Luckily there still aren’t any mods or bots for this game, and it’s going to take a while to see the dishonest players bragging.

Of course, the difficulty varies by song, and some will make your hands and fingers hurt, while others play at a more steady pace. Play well, and the game will reward you with a compliment, or mess the rhythm up, and the game will proclaim your style as “nasty.” These comments are only enhanced by the Trombone Champ’s visual backdrop, and each track is accompanied by an appropriate image associated with a visual representation of a stereotypical opinion regarding the song’s theme.

Needless to say, any recently-release game that skyrockets to Steam’s top-10 list are an instant contender for the GOTY award, but its hard to image Trombone Champ overtaking the incredibly popular MultiVersus, or the stunning beautiful hit that’s FromSoftware‘s Elden Ring. TROMBONE Champ is currently available on Steam, with a fantastic 10/10 rating and overwhelmingly positive reviews.