Otakon 2018: ‘Waveform WipeOut’ Brings the Rhythm Game of the Future

Reading Time: 2 minutes

When we listen to our favorite tunes, it’s very easy to forget that audio is a science. It is the ability to transfer waves of information through electric signals which are received by a transmitter and made clear. While there have been plenty of music rhythm games in the past, imagine one where you are not just hitting buttons or notes, but literally riding the wave of music. Welcome to Waveform WipeOut by Charcoal City Games. Waveform WipeOut was available for play at Otakon 2018 and I had a quick moment to check the game out for myself.

Waveform WipeOut takes place in a neon-lit cyberpunk world, very much inspired by the visual presentation of the original Blade Runner. In this game, you are a listener and skate-board rider, jamming hard to your favorite tunes. The local law enforcement doesn’t like that too well and as such, will stand in you ready of having fun. Wave Former has you pulling insane stunts on your to the best of the music, which is quite the interesting mechanic. The trick is to not only follow the beats of the song but also pull really insane stunts to boost your score. With the simple controls out-of-the-way, I was off.

The song that was playing was Code Monkey by Jonathan Coulton, which was the main theme for G4TV’s short-lived animated series, Code Monkeys. It’s an alternative rock track with comedic lyrics, whichever was perfect for the show. Immediately hearing that gave me a solid nostalgic feeling. At first, I was missing beats and having messy landings on my tricks, but as the song went on and my memory of the track reawakened, I got the hang of the controls very quickly.

Before I knew it, I was pulling off stunts like a pro! The rest of the song went on and I was performing flips and Ollie’s, while successfully dodging missiles and defeating law enforcement vehicles. The screen was filled with bursts of color and energy as I rode the wave. The track seemed to be perfectly attuned to the song, and having listened to it hundreds of times in 2008, it felt great! I was having such a good time pulling off tricks and being a free bird of sorts along the way. The sensation went on for three minutes until the song ended.

What I experienced was an inkling of what Waveform WipeOut will be like. The game is expected to feature dozens of tracks and a full single-player story mode. Additionally, there will new character and environments to unlock, including the ability to load your own music file into the game to surf a level to your favorite music, creating a unique take on level customization and editing.  The game will also feature Twitch integrations with the ability to interact with viewers, as well as multiple difficulty options. Look for Waveform WipeOut to launch sometime this year on steam.