In 2019, the game-meme was Untitled Goose Game. After a few years, Among Us quickly became a game loved by nerds and geeks. It's not often that a game comes out of nowhere and becomes a hit on social media. But Trombone Champ could be the next hit of the season—a highly memetic rhythm game.
What is Trombone Champ?
Trombone Champ, produced by Holy Wow, is an indie rhythm game similar to Guitar Hero. However, instead of playing the guitar or drums, players can enjoy the beautiful sounds of a trombone playing Take Me Out to the Ball Game, Hava Nagila and The Star-Spangled Banner… And we've all just discovered that trying to play a mouse-controlled trombone is one of the funniest things in the world. Trombone Champ is currently the most popular game on Steam, and for good reason.
What’s so great about Trombone Champ?
The game, like many other rhythm games online, relies on the simplicity of one-click mouse-controlled play, rhythmicity, world-famous songs and, for some reason, baboons and hot dogs. But chances are it will be more than that. The trombone is a funny instrument in itself, and wild crowds of people have started watching videos of Trombone Champ. Fortunately for us, there's more to it than just a simple rhythm game.
How do you play Trombone Champ?
In Trombone Champ you control a Nintendo Mii-like character playing the trombone. Just like in Guitar Hero and similar rhythm games, you see “notes” and have to trumpet to maintain a given tone.
The controls are quite unusual, but easy to learn—although it's quite difficult to get to proficiency. If you want to use only the mouse, the rhythm game uses an inverted Y-axis to simulate a trombone slider. However, Trombone Champ recommends using the keyboard to win the appropriate notes. Players can also play by regulating notes using the X mouse axis—but beware…. if you play too many notes at once, you may run out of air. This is why it’s good to master a gaming mouse.
In your journey through the world of the trombone you will encounter classics like Tchaikovsky, Strauss and national anthems like the American “Star Spangled Banner” and “God Save the Queen” (and actually now King… we should all get used to it!). Like many other rhythm games online, it relies mostly on public domain.
During each song, lo-fi images appear that are both beautiful and fun. Everything is amazing, and you don't want to miss a thing, whether it's the fireworks during the American anthem, the spinning Star of David during Hava Nagila…. The game is full of great visual gags. What's more, if you want to sing along, the song lyrics will scroll at the bottom of the screen karaoke-style—but many players on Twitch are laughing instead of singing.
The computer evaluates how well you played the trombone and awards you points for it. As you play more, you get better and collect Toots—the game's currency that allows you to collect trombone cards, unlock new characters, sound effects and secret features.
Why Trombone Champ is so popular
What makes Trombone Champ so interesting and fun right now is the combination of striving to play a song perfectly—using only the mouse—with the absurd sound of the trombone. Even a poorly played song can sound hilarious, unlike in many other rhythm games online. No matter how good or bad the performance is, you will laugh and cry.
Trombone Champ is all about a simple concept, a good sense of humor and a passion for music. Like many indie games created by one man, Trombone Champ is not a big game. It takes just 10 minutes to download and install. You can buy the game on Steam for $15, and it should be compatible with any computer less than 10 years old.