The “NASTY!” message when you flub a note is inspired. | Image: Holy Wow Studios

Trombone Champ has been the star of my timeline this week; I’m constantly running into absurd renditions of songs like “Take Me Out to the Ball Game.” But in a conversation with Dan Vecchitto, the founder of Trombone Champ developer Holy Wow Studios, he brought up something I think is a major factor in the game’s success: we just don’t see a lot of comedy in gaming right now.

Games have been pushing the boundaries of capital-S Serious Storytelling for some time with series like The Last of Us. Others remain popular because of their high-skill and high-stress competitive multiplayer. But we just don’t see many games that embrace their own comedy in the way that Trombone Champ does.

While there are a growing number of games that are…

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