In front of thousands of screaming fans, a DJ peers through his gorilla mask at the technicolour festival in front of him while lasers, giant screens and layers of fog adorn the huge stage behind. As the crowd waits with baited breath, the DJ pulls off the impossible and manages to weave between All Star from Smash Mouth and Sean Paul’s Get Busy before finally blasting the punters into the stratosphere with an immaculately timed drop of Donna Summer’s Hot Stuff. That’s just how ridiculous Fuser is, and let me tell you I am hooked.
Fuser is more than a DJ simulator, it’s a festival simulator. As a real-life DJ who has had that opportunity taken away this year, the vicarious pleasure of performing in front of a crowd again was a huge thrill. You choose your crate of tracks, which are then separated into Drums, Bass, Melody and Vocals with each being made to fit into the key and tempo of whatever track you start with. However, it’s how you time dropping tracks and the many other options that will ultimately win over the crowd and help you achieve 5 Stars on each mission.
After creating your superstar DJ, Career Mode is where you’ll learn the ropes, including not only how to mix the many parts but also the ability to isolate or mute tracks for emphasis, and how to time them properly for extra points. Each track has been fitted to work perfectly with each other and experimenting with the many elements is when the game works best. The only time this wobbles is when vocals have clearly been steered far out of their original key and can sound a bit uncanny.
You’ll also be introduced to the game’s fun instrument mode where you can input and loop notes to create your own melodies. While the key is always matched and you can change the length of notes, the input on Switch feels a little off, and I got frustrated trying to time my notes properly. Similarly, my biggest gripe with the game is the controls. You’re required to use the left analog stick to control a cursor most of the time, and trying to move quickly between the many tracks, options and instruments is far more fiddly then it should be in a game that depends on speed and timing.
As you level up you’ll earn resources to unlock more songs, new clothing items, and patterns to personalise those clothes. The character creator has plenty of options and a great representation of different body types, hair options and skin tones. Finally, there is also a few fun different online modes including competitive sets against strangers and a surprising amount of community support with players able to submit mixes and vote on them in regular competitions.
Importantly, the sound design on offer here is absolutely stellar and it’s also worth mentioning that the soundtrack for Fuser is incredible, with many huge hits to choose from in genres such as Dance, Pop, and Latin. You’ll also be very happy to know you can drop Rick Astley’s Never Gonna Give You Up at any point. Visually the game isn’t quite up to par, clearly having been squashed down to fit on Switch, with fuzzy textures throughout and some graphical glitches during our playtime, although none of that hindered the fun.
Fuser works as a celebration of dance music and festivals, and offers plenty of ways to customise not only your experience but also your taste and brand as an individual artist. Throw in fun and interesting ways to mix a bunch of classic tracks, a satisfying career mode and some enjoyable online modes, and even some technical difficulties and a few controls issues can’t stop this party.
Fuser Review £59.99
Fuser succeeds as a celebration of dance culture, as well as being a great DJ simulator, helping to bring your sets to life, making DJing a blast and providing the buzz of giving the crowd the night of their lives.