The internet’s favorite video game is like ‘Guitar Hero’ but with trombones

New York
CNN business

If you liked “Guitar Hero” but wished you had more brass instruments, you’re in luck.

A new rhythm game called “Trombone Champ” has become an online hit, bringing to the Internet the kind of requisite agility that only a trombone can do. A lot the videos have been shared good social networks avatars in recent days playing their trombones with unbridled joy. And the small developer behind the game is racing to adapt to strong demand.

“Trombone Champ” from developer Holy Wow Studios lets players play virtual trombone on over 20 songs, including Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony and the US National Anthem.

“I made a quick prototype that people online thought was fun, so I started working on a full game,” Dan Vecchitto, the game designer and developer behind Holy Wow, told CNN Business. “I thought it would take about six months, but the whole process from start to finish took four years (with lots of starts and stops).”

The game itself is very simple: slide the mouse up and down very quickly to adjust the pitch, while holding down a button to play along with the music in time. It’s accompanied by images of cartoon and meme-themed characters playing trombones, as well as some jokes about the word “toot” and some facts about trombones throughout history. (“Did you know that early Renaissance and Baroque trombones are sometimes called ‘sacks’?”)

The game was released last week on Steam for PC ($14.99), with a Mac version expected soon. But his comedic appeal seems to have gone viral. PCGamer, a gaming publication, described it as an “immediate” contender for game of the year.

In the words of one Steam reviewer: “Don’t let anyone tell you you can’t do it.”

Before the game started, Vecchitto had some concerns about how people would respond.

“I wasn’t sure how people would react to the playing, because it’s almost impossible to get the trombone ‘right,'” he said. “I was also worried that real trombonists would complain about how unreal the trombone controls are – it sounds more like a whistle than a trombone.”

Now, Holy Wow addresses another issue: strong demand.

“[A]Right now, Holy Wow is mostly a one-man operation. And it’s not even our main concert! We do full-time jobs,” the company he tweeted on Thursday “Needless to say, based on just a few days, we plan to take the game further than originally planned.”

“It will take us a few weeks to get our lives in order and deal with the huge demand this game has created!” tweeted the developer. “Please be patient.”

– CNN’s Samantha Kelly contributed to this report.