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Audiosurf: When Music Met Gaming

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AudioSurf is just about the coolest $10 computer game ever.

The game takes any song you have on your computer and transforms it into a rollercoaster racing track so that you can “ride your music.” The shape of the track — its hills and drops, twists and turns — adjusts according to the composition of your song, and the speed of the race increases and decreases based upon the music’s tempo.

In addition to the racing aspect, AudioSurf is also a slick puzzle game. As you cruise down your custom-designed track, colored blocks appear in conjunction with the song’s beats, and it’s up to you to pick up and arrange these blocks into clusters in order to earn points. Each song has its own score leaderboard; for instance, I’m ashamed to say that I currently hold the world record for “Pop” by ‘N Sync. (To reestablish my indie cred, let me also mention that I’m on the leaderboard for several Vampire Weekend songs. So there.)

Here’s a video example of a track using “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen. Notice how the track changes with the music, especially during the song’s second half:

The most promising thing about AudioSurf is that it has thepotential to endure for many, many years. Since you provide the actualcontent, there’s no limit to the amount of times you can play. I oftencatch myself playing it just to see what the game does with a band asbizarre as Animal Collective or as hyper as Gogol Bordello. And, if youhappen to be a musician yourself, you can instantly become a videogamedesigner by simply recording and uploading your own work.

The bottom line is that AudioSurf is damn fun, and for only 10 bucks, it’s a ridiculous bargain.

PopWatchers, have any of you already discovered AudioSurf, and if so, do you have any suggestions for songs that I should play next?