Old School Musical Is A Rhythm Adventure Through Video Game History

The game’s Mega Man-inspired level.
The game’s Mega Man-inspired level.

Old School Musical is an incredibly charming rhythm adventure game that pairs a dope pixelated art style with chiptune tracks. The game is out today for Switch and PC.


The gameplay itself has standard rhythm game mechanics, as colorful icons move to the center of the screen and a small reticle tells you when to press them in time to the music. You do this while the game’s action happens in the background, like side-scrolling platforming or arcade-style racing.The various difficulty settings present a nice challenge, even for someone like me who loves playing rhythm games on the highest difficulty.

Old School Musical’s story mode lets you follow two adorable shapes named Tib and Rob as they travel through glitched out versions of various classic games. The couple of hours that I’ve played so far introduced me to hilarious versions of Pokemon, Mega Man, Metal Gear, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and even Outrun with great written dialogue and hilarious references.

The music here is why you’ll stay though. The 8-bit era chiptune tracks fits the vibe of every level well. The game features 50 tracks to master, from funkier tunes that feature swing beats to frenetic techno with staccato drums. I do recommend either using the Joy-Con grip or a Pro Controller to help you support the controller with one hand as you mash away. Turning on vibration is also a really nice addition that helps you feel the beat and keep up.

Illustration for article titled Old School Musical Is A Rhythm Adventure Through Video Game History

I streamed this game with Gita Jackson earlier today and we were blown away by each level as we progressed through the story. We laughed at all of the adorable details, like one of the characters being dressed (or not dressed in much really) like Quiet from Metal Gear Solid V during the Metal Gear-themed level. Watch the archived stream above to see the game and more importantly, listen to those sweet bleeps and bloops.

Video Producer, Kotaku. Fluent in Spanglish. Tetris Master. Streamer. Host of The Optional Podcast.



I’ve been playing Stepmania on a USB dance pad for a while now. Would this game work well on a dance pad? Or are there more than 4 directional buttons to use?