Osu is a popular, free, addictive rhythm video game in the rhythm-game tradition that includes games that started out in arcades, such as Dance Dance Revolution, Guitar Hero, and Rock Band.
The basic idea of OSU is simple, but the game can get extremely complex. The main game mode consists of you clicking little circles that appear, normally with the beat of the song. “Beatmaps” are, at their basic level. the songs with the elements of hits, circles, and sliders.
The game art is usually manga/anime style animated characters . The beatmap can also include a background image or storyboard. Beatmaps are created by players. It makes for a mishmash of interesting visual styles.
Why is Osu free? Originally created by Dean “Peppy” Herbert for Microsoft Windows, OSU’s source code is open source, and its assets are under a Creative Commons license. Thus, the game is free to download. The desktop versions for PC and Mac are the most popular, but you can also get it in iOS and Android.
Many players use a graphics tablet to move their character. Tablets’ absolute tracking as opposed to relative tracking of the mouse is the main attraction in Osu. There’s even a pen tablet by Huion with special features for the game.
Along with the tablet, you simultaneously use a keyboard as controller. Some prefer using a mouse instead.
Osu has gradually grown in popularity from the year 2007, with Herbert introducing multiplayer gaming in 2008. Osu presently boasts 10 million users. Competitions are held every few months.
To become a rhythm master, you need fast reflexes and stamina. The game likely will improve your hand-eye coordination. You also need a good sense of your song’s rhythm. When you encounter a “spinner,” which is a spinning element, you need to spin your pen or mouse.
To start, the player picks a song and a difficulty level out of five levels. There are three hit elements: circles, sliders and spinners. As circles and sliders appear, the player has to click on them, which produces a drum sound. The idea is to keep a “health bar” that’s on the screen at above zero until the “beatmap” is done. The health bar gets smaller as you play, and if you miss hitting an element, it diminishes faster.
The game also includes mods that let the player increase or decrease the difficulty, for instance by increasing circle sizes, slowing the elements, lengthening the song, or making it impossible to fail. Doing these reduces overall score.
Beatmaps are published on the Osu site. Most songs are J-Pop/anime songs, but the game incorporates a wide variety of songs. As you play more Osu, you will start to pick songs according to the beatmap you can visualize in your head.
There are three alternative modes: Taiko, Catch the Beat and Osu!Mania. The Taiko mode is based on Taiko no Tatsujin, which means Drum Master. This gets rid of the mouse component of the video game and simplifies it to tapping the keyboard to the beat.
In Catch the Beat, Yuzu, an animated character who holds a plate above her head, is controlled by the players. The goal is to catch falling fruits, which of course drop in time to the tune.
Osu!Mania is a game mode like the video game series DJMax. Players press matching secrets as notes fall from the top of the screen, again in time to the music. The notes are like the hit circles in Osu.
Osu is relaxing and stimulating at the same time; there’s no violence or controversy, it’s just fun and music. It turns a simple concept into a sophisticated and social, global experience, with players around the world competing. With an increasing stream base, gamers can connect with pros. The community that plays together, stays together.
So grab a keyboard and a graphics tablet and pen, or mouse, and try Osu. As the game says, rhythm is just a click away!
You can download Osu and join the community here: