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Dive Bar Superstars Review: Didgeridoo You Wanna Rock?

Dive Bar Superstar is one part videogame, one part album, starring an independent metal band from Australia. Your enjoyment of this fairly basic title is largely going to be dependent on how you feel about the soundtrack and hard rock/heavy metal in general. DZ Deathrays now join such luminaries as Journey and Aerosmith in the (admittedly short) list of rock bands that have been playable characters in a non-Guitar Hero or Rock Band game.

It’s a little difficult to judge this title fairly, because the point wasn’t to sell you a game as much as it was to promote the band and their music. Normally, this is where I’d rip on the game for having pixel graphics – it’s a trend I utterly detest in gaming. But here, it works. The low rent graphics give a grungy, underground, unpolished vibe to the game, which absolutely works for a metal music title. The soundtrack is a large assortment of the band’s actual catalogue, obviously. It’s a mix of cock-rock and power metal, with a hint of grunge influence in the distorted guitars. They’re no AC/DC, but they’re also thankfully not (-hastily googling Aussie metal bands-) Twelve Foot Ninja.

The gameplay loop is exceedingly basic, which generally keeps this game from being more than a “few minutes here or there” sort of title, though. Essentially you play through a song, trying to get a high score by hitting fans with your soundwaves. The happier they are, the more money you make. You use that money to buy upgrades and unlock venues and boost your own abilities. One very nice touch during gameplay – if you take the lead singer away from the microphone, the vocal track drops out. But barring minor changes in the stage, the gameplay never really evolves or improves. It’s a one-trick pony.

And so that’s the rub – if you choose to buy the game, don’t expect something that’s going to keep you engaged for long stretches. Buy it as a way to support independent music (you’re essentially getting a couple album’s worth of tunes), or as a novel marketing idea from a band trying to figure out how to navigate the pandemic era.


The Chuck is a lifelong gamer who was born in Ohio, but now lives in much closer proximity to Mickey Mouse.

The Chuck has found his life to be a series of improbable and almost unbelievable events, starting when he was twenty and caught the bubonic plague from a prairie dog. He was as surprised as anyone when he found out that's something that can happen.

When he isn't gaming, The Chuck can be found enjoying baseball, (American) football, pro wrestling, and horror movies. He is most commonly seen in the company of one or more cats.

Reclusive by nature, The Chuck is (like most semi-feral creatures) reward-driven. Approach with caution and some form of treat.

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