I will admit... I had entirely the wrong idea about this game when I saw the title "Tubehero". I thought there was going to be about a tube, and a hero, and something erotic. This reminded me a lot of the time I saw Rock'em Sock'em; I thought there would be rocks, socks, and something erotic.
So, imagine my surprise when I saw some balls gliding on some lines and you have to hit it with one of your thumbs to the beat of music! I was enthralled. Not because it was so much like my Saturday evenings at home alone, but also because it was some good wholesome fun! The music choices were great... after all, it came out of my fabulous collection of every Journey song I've butchered at drunken karaoke, and the graphics were glorious to behold, in an almost Tron kind of way.
Now, before I take things too far, I don't mean that it's very visually intensive. The display interacts in just the right way at just the right times, and while simple, the elements on screen are executed with nice touches of flash and pop. In other words, it's just right for the type of game it is. Beyond visuals, it has a strong element of pulling music from your playlist... but it can also pull songs from youtube and interact with facebook. Admittedly, I'm not a big fan of a game getting into my biznass, but I'm old and cranky, and I'm sure it's got it's moments. But this type of interface has never done me favors before. But enough about me, let's get back to the game.
Speaking of the game, maybe you want to know how it's like to play? Well, you are in for a treat because I am about to thumb the heck out of these shiny balls for your reading pleasure!
The game, as you might imagine, is a lot like other storied console titles like Guitar Hero, Rock Band, and all the other variations of those music-game-icons. Instead of having fantastic plastic toy guitars/drums/etc you use your thumbs. I recommend starting on easy. "Why?!!1!" you ask? Well, it's because if you haven't played this type of "thumb pumping to the beat of the music" game before, it's a bit of effort to keep track of. Now, I'm not the brightest bulb in the drawer (wat?) but with a quickly paced song, even the 3 line setup on easy is a handful. The game does a good job of managing breaks in the action between the levels. On easy, there are frequent and regular breaks in even the craziest of songs, and on medium, the number of lines jumps up, the beat-balls fly more fast and more furious-er and on hard... well... prepare for carpal tunnel and a sore wrist. Fret not, should your thumbs sweat on the beautifully rendered screen: you're amongst friends here.
If there was a downside to the game, it has to be one of originality. Games like these are great because they are based on a proven formula... but so many are lacking that extra bit of something to put it above what has already been done by the original heroes of yore of the music-beat-matching-games genre.
In the end, like many summer blockbusters, it's not a ground breaking game (and nor does it pretend to be) but it sure is a polished and well executed variation of well loved games. And in a sea of half-done games, this is a great pick. A well earned score of "B" for Ballin' Bumpin' Balls.
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