Product Review of Audiosurf
Audiosurf is a music-based arcade game that takes songs from the player’s computer and turns them into trippy levels with colored tiles representing beats of music. Players move a ship right or left to collect like-colored tiles while avoiding gray ones, all in time to the beat. The visuals and overall experience change depending on the speed, intensity, and style of the music playing in the background. Mellow music results in a slower, less challenging environment, while fast and aggressive music creates bumpier, busier tracks with more tiles to collect and dodge.
Audiosurf is a good game to play in class to inspire discussion and introduce artistic reinterpretation. If learners are creating their own music or sharing and discussing songs, Audiosurf could be a fun and potentially more visceral way for learners to interact with and analyze the music. In an art or music class, have learners observe the trippy visuals and twisting tracks that accompany a song they’ve chosen, and then create their own unique artwork inspired by the same song. Students could also do the activity in reverse order, creating an artwork inspired by a song and then seeing how it compares to Audiosurf‘s version. As inspiration, have a group discussion about famous paintings that attempt to visualize music like Wassily Kandinsky’s “Composition 8” or Georgia O’Keefe’s “Pink and Blue No. 2.”
Although it’s beautiful and unique, Audiosurf is not the best game for learning when compared to other music games like The Beatles: Rock Band, which encourages kids to perfect songs by hitting all the notes, or Sound Shapes, which lets kids create their own music-inspired game levels. Students can use Audiosurf to develop new perspectives on music, observing how songs and genres look and play differently based on variations in qualities like tempo or structure. They might also gain a stronger sense of rhythm after playing a few levels; however, Audiosurf is more a thrill ride than a deep learning opportunity.
Overall User Consensus About the App
Audiosurf‘s core gameplay is fairly simple and repetitive, but players can enjoy an infinite number of unique levels limited only by the size of their music playlist.
Curriculum and Instruction
Kids have a great deal of control over their experience, since levels are constructed based on the songs they choose. These tailored levels allow kids to travel through a song and view its structure, but only abstractly.
There’s a starting tutorial. Unlike some other rhythm games, kids can’t slow down or isolate certain passages to practice them. The online fan community isn’t moderated, so expect strong language and unfiltered content.