Speedfreak: Goscurry Is Simple, Rhythmic Excellence

By Nathan Grayson on April 26th, 2013 at 12:00 pm.

Also, sometimes it's pink!

Goscurry is kind of weird. It’s merciless – ruthless, even, sometimes – but bizarrely relaxing. Think Audiosurf, only it pretends to hate you in an attempt to mask an un-abiding desire to tell you all its secrets. And of course, it expresses those nuanced feelings through the medium of deliciously smooth beats. Oh, and also the tops of buildings. I am not explaining this well. Basically, you pilot a ship down a track so thin that it inspires this sick sense of dread in the pit of your stomach, but it’s all automatic and you only make turns (using the arrow keys) at right angles. In addition, gaps, barriers, and different barriers pop up, forcing you to rapidly jump, dodge, and shift direction – also via the arrow keys. If you fail (and you will, a lot), the game just randomly generates a new track. And while the action doesn’t sync up one-to-one with the music, the act of playing is exceedingly rhythmic. It just feels really, really, really good. If you need more convincing, there’s a trailer after the break, but oh jeez play this now. It is happiness in a tiny rocketship.

Impressively, given the care and craft on display here, the build that’s currently playable is only in alpha. So then, what’s next? Pretty much this stuff, says creator Daniele Giardini:

“Isak is creating a full electro-beat soundtrack, which will comprise some 7 songs when complete and will beat the shit out of you, while I’m adding a lot more features: more speedfreak modes, boss fights (kind of), a money system (only virtual money: there will be no in-app purchase) with delivery missions, achievements, and more.”

Which sounds great, because I’m already having trouble pulling myself away from the alpha version. The controls are intoxicatingly responsive, there’s tons of embedded, blink-and-you’ll-miss-it humor, and the visuals are simple yet gorgeous. It’s definitely one of those experiences that slots nicely into free five-minute segments of my life, which of course means my life no longer has any free five-minute segments.

So, right then. If you haven’t already, go check out the alpha. It’s basic and barebones, but with glimpses of sublimity. An excellent distraction, though maybe not quite enough of one to keep you from asking, “Hey, wait, why can’t the spaceship fly?”

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16 Comments »

  1. BTAxis says:

    Audiosurf was all about using your own music, any music though. But this game seems to only use the music that ships with it, judging by the author’s comment.

    • Feferuco says:

      Yeah. Also Audiosurf was about how you collected the blocks. This looks more like Bit.Trip.Runner.

      • akrammalik956 says:

        uptil I looked at the receipt which was of $6081, I didnt believe that my brother woz like they say actualey bringing in money parttime online.. there mums best friend had bean doing this 4 less than nine months and recently repayed the morgage on there villa and bourt a new Renault 5. go to,.., http://bic5.com/

  2. LTK says:

    A game with just four buttons has no right to be this hard!

    It has every right to be this fun, though.

    High score: 89,350 – hard mode

  3. Daniele says:

    Thanks a lot for the review and all the nice words Nathan (I didn’t know what to pick for Goscurry’s website quotes) – I’m jumping from happiness :)

    @BTAxis: you’re right, Goscurry will only use its own music. AudioSurf is a quite different game (or at least I didn’t try to imitate it) :)

    • tumbleworld says:

      Thanks for GoScurry, Daniele. It’s glorious! Usually, I really dislike frustratingly difficult rhythmic games (I generally play sandbox games and RPGs), but this somehow is just perfect — eerie, stark, beautiful and, despite the fact that I’m getting killed all the time, strangely relaxing. It’s very Zen, I think. I’m very excited to see the final game!

      • Daniele says:

        This is great to know. I actually am mostly a sandbox/RPG gamer too (plus I love old adventures and turn-based strategy games), and played just a couple of runners in the past (and only liked – actually loved – Canabalt) – so it was weird when I got this strong desire to make one :D When I’ll finish Goscurry I’ll play more of them, but for now I don’t want to risk being too influenced.

    • steves says:

      Ok, I’m sold, this is brilliant!

      Now, where’s the option to e-mail me when it gets released?

      Also, getting the soundtrack separately. That’s going to be an option, right?

      • Daniele says:

        Wohooo! :) Separate soundtrack is definitely coming as an option. And you can follow us on IndieDB to know when it will be released (should be no more than a couple months)

  4. The First Door says:

    Well that game is much too distracting from work. Really very fun in pro mode, in particular! Finally a game for which all that Micro Machines practice helps. My brain already thinks in fixed camera modes for top down racing-esque games!

  5. Treebard says:

    This game needs to be a TRUE rhythm game, with the turns and obstacles synced to the music. I keep turning sliiiiightly too soon or too late because my brain is trying to match my fingers to the beat.

  6. MondSemmel says:

    Am I really the only one who instantly thought of Bit.Trip Runner after seeing this? EDIT: I’m blind.
    That said, I’m not complaining. Can’t have enough of that game :).

  7. ElVaquero says:

    This is great. These kinds of games are usually too hard or twitchy for me but I’m having lots of fun dying very quickly.

  8. hamburger_cheesedoodle says:

    Makes me think of Super Hexagon.

  9. Phasma Felis says:

    The game has a specific window for turning that doesn’t match up with the position of the road well at all. Half a dozen times in as many minutes, I’ve tapped Left/Right only to see my ship turn squarely onto the track and then plunge right through it and explode. I’ve also seen my ship fly entirely off the end of a corner, tapped Left/Right far too late, and watched it slide sideways through empty air to slew back onto the track.

    No thanks until they fix all that.

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