Trombone Champ’s ‘autotoot’ makes the ridiculous music game more accessible
Trombone Champ is a blast to watch, but a beast to play even compared to some other rhythm games — you try nailing a slide during the “William Tell Overture.” Thankfully, developer Holy Wow Studios is putting the game within reach of more players. It’s introducing an “Autotoot” option that takes away the need to press buttons. If you have hand-mobility issues, you’ll have a better chance of squonking your way to an S rank. Your score is halved to prevent leaderboard cheating, but you can advance the story.
The update is also more streamer-friendly, with icons warning when a tune might be muted on services like Twitch. It’s faster to restart a track when your performance goes askew, and you’ll see your character in the points screen.
Trombone Champ quickly became a viral sensation after its debut last September. Anyone who’s familiar with Guitar Hero or Rock Band will grasp the basic mechanics, but the laugh-’til-you-cry hilarity of playing trombone over classic pieces can’t be overstated — this is one of those precious games where messing up is almost more entertaining than a perfect score. And that’s before you throw in unofficial songs that put brass where it clearly doesn’t belong.
Autotoot is also part of a larger trend of improving accessibility in games. Titles like The Last of Us now make accommodations for a wide range of mobility, hearing and vision abilities. Input devices like Microsoft’s Xbox Adaptive Controller and Sony’s Project Leonardo are also making many games viable for people who can’t use conventional gamepads.
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