It just couldn’t get any better than one of the top 10 best selling games on Steam right now is Trombone Championthe completely ridiculous and hilarious trombone simulatorGuitar Hero game from one of the funniest developers in the industry. But it’s also amazing, given the silly darkness of the game’s themes.
I’ve been following the games Trombone Championdeveloper of, Holy Wow, for over a decade. from the innovator Icarus Proudbottom in: The Curse of the Chocolate Fountainin which a man propels himself through the sky by the power of his own poo, to the endlessly fun collection of multiplayer mini-games, Icarus Proudbottom’s Typing Party, and everything else, the indie developer’s games have made me laugh for many years. Which I’m basically saying to brag that I knew them before they were cool. And wow, the husband and wife team Dan Vecchitto and Jackie Lalli are great now.
“No and no!” says Vecchitto when I ask him if any previous Holy Wow games have had this kind of success, and if he expected it this time. Previous games have been somewhat rudimentary affairs, Vecchitto explains that he is a self-taught programmer, but he rose above the ranks of his peers due to how fucking fun they were. Trombone Champion It shows another evolutionary step forward, its Nintendo Mii-like graphics and beautiful user interface belie a game of abject stupidity.
In Trombone Championyou have to try to play the trombone through a Guitar Hero-as an interface, moving the mouse up and down to match oncoming lines, holding down a button to “tap” as they pass the line. Except mouse movement is inverted, disgustingly unstable, and all deliberately cumbersome. Which leads to fun times. Funny moments that absolutely deserve a big hit, coverage on all the major gaming sites that usually ignore such quirky indie games, and a top 10 position on The new steam listsbut surely no one expected it?
“I always thought the concept was fun,” Vecchitto explains via Twitter direct messages, “and was expecting various gameplay videos to go viral, but I really didn’t expect the game itself to take off like it did.” So why do you think he might have done it? “It seems to reach many audiences: casual gamers; true music game enthusiasts; real brass musicians; ska fans (it turns out there are a lot of these!); etc. Still, I’m a bit stumped as to why this one took off the way it did.”
I wonder if this means he might want to re-release his previous game library, now that the rest of the world has finally woken up to Holy Wow. Maybe release them in gold plated boxes. “I would really love to do an HD Icarus Proudbottom teaches writing!” Vecchitto immediately gets excited. I might as well. As Nathan Grayson (at the end of this parish) once wrote, “Icarus Proudbottom teaches writing is incredible.” And it really is, although it does look somewhat archaic, despite its release in 2013.
I would also like to update typing party and make more arcade cabinets,” Vecchitto continues. “We currently have one. typing party cabinet in Wonderville in Brooklynand it’s tempting to make more and try to distribute them to independent arcades across the country.”
“But with Trombone ChampionThe success of,” adds Dan, “I think we’re going to spend some time on this one.” Not bad, for a game made during his evenings and weekends, around a full-time job. While previous games of Holy Wow have been more divided between the married development team, Trombone Champion it was closer to a solo project. Vecchitto explains, “I’m comfortable wasting my own nights and weekends on a stupid game like this, but I didn’t want to destroy my only spouse’s free time as well.”
You can, and absolutely must, collect previous Holy Wow games through Itch, because they are fucking wonderful. So you can pretend you were cool too, before all this new steam based hit.