It just couldn’t be better for being one of the top 10 best selling games on Steam right now Trombone Champthe absolutely ridiculous and hilarious trombone simulationguitar hero Game from one of the funniest developers in the business. But it’s also amazing considering how dumb the game’s themes are.
I’ve been following the games from Trombone Champ‘s developer, Holy Wow, for over a decade. From the groundbreaking Icarus Proudbottom In: The Curse of the Chocolate Fountainwhere a man propels himself through the air using the power of his own poop, to the endlessly fun multiplayer minigame collection, Icarus Proudbottom’s Writing Party, and everything in between, the indie developer’s games have been making me laugh for many years. Which I’m saying to basically brag that I knew them before they were cool. And wow, are husband and wife duo Dan Vecchitto and Jackie Lalli cool now.
“No and no!” says Vecchitto when I ask him if any previous Holy Wow game has had this kind of success and if he expected it this time. The previous games were somewhat rough affairs, with Vecchitto explaining that he’s a self-taught programmer but rose above the ranks of his peers because they were so damn funny. Trombone Champ shows another evolutionary step forward, its Nintendo Mii-like graphics and beautiful user interface belies a game full of goofiness.
in the Trombone Champyou must try to play the trombone through a guitar herolike the UI, move your mouse up and down to match the upcoming lines and hold a button to “tut” when they pass the line. Except that the mouse movement is reversed, disgustingly unstable, and the whole thing is intentionally awkward. Which leads to fun times. Fun times that absolutely deserve the breakthrough, coverage of all the mainstream gaming sites that usually ignore such quirky indie games, and a top 10 position The new charts from Steambut surely nobody expected it?
“I always thought the concept was fun,” Vecchitto explains via Twitter DMs, “and I expected various video clips of the game to go viral, but I didn’t really expect the game itself to take off like that.” Why does he think so so that this could be the case? “It seems to target many audiences: casual gamers; real music game enthusiasts; real brass; ska fans (it turns out there are a lot of them!); etc. Still, I’m kind of puzzled as to why this one is so off the hook.”
I wonder if that means he might want to re-release his previous library of games, now the rest of the world has finally woken up to Holy Wow. Maybe release them in gilded boxes. “I would really like to do an HD Icarus Proudbottom teaches writing!” Vecchitto is immediately enthusiastic. He could too. As Nathan Grayson (later of this church) once wrote: “Icarus Proudbottom teaches writing is unbelievable.” And it really is, if a bit archaic, despite the 2013 release.
“I would also really like to do an update writing party and make more arcade cabinets,” Vecchitto continues. “We currently have one writing party closet at Wonderville in Brooklynand it’s tempting to make more and try and get them distributed to indie arcades across the country.”
“But with Trombone Champ‘s success,” adds Dan, “I think we’re going to spend a while on it.” Not bad for a game he made during his evenings and weekends around a full-time job. While previous Holy Wow games were more of an even split between the married development team, Trombone Champ was closer to a solo project. Vecchitto explains, “I’m happy to waste my own nights and weekends playing a stupid game like this, but I didn’t want to ruin my only spouse’s free time as well.”
You absolutely can and should Get the previous Holy Wow games via Itch‘Cause they’re bloody fabulous. Then you can also pretend you’re cool before all this newfound Steam-based success.