We all love DrawSomething. Its simplicity and elegance results in an insanely addictive game. So take that, minus the drawing, add music and we have Song Pop.
Song Pop is so similar to Draw Something, you’d be forgiven for thinking it was the same developer. Everything, down to the user interface and sound effects are strikingly resemblant, and means Song Pop is quick and responsive, with the whole app feeling highly polished.
So how does it work? First, you need to create an account, and yes you guessed it, you can create one using your email address, or tie the game to your Facebook account which, this being a Facebook based game, unsurprisingly gives you added perks such as extra coins. Next, it’s time to find a game (in exactly the same manner as Draw Something), either through Facebook, email, username or random. In my experience you’ll have no problem finding people to play with. But just a word of warning, that by tying the game to our Facebook you’re going to get the game posting your scores on your behalf to the activity portion of your Timeline, so if you’re looking to avoid
potentially clogging your Facebook with high scores and achievement posts, it would probably be best to sign up with your email. It’s certainly a failing point of the game, while Draw Something managed the social integration well by giving you the option of posting, Song Pop does not and, though it is part of the agreement that the app will be allowed to post to your wall by signing in with Facebook, from a design perspective the user should always be in control of that stuff.
Now Song Pop begins to differentiate, you’re given a choice of ‘playlists’, essentially genres of music on which you’ll be quizzed ranging from classic rock to electronic to even TV show themes. In total there are well over 25 playlists, so even people with the most unique of musical tastes should find a playlist they’ll be good at. The more a player plays a particular playlist, the more songs they unlock in that genre, giving the game a good sense of
progression. That being said, and this being a free to play game, you start out with six ‘starter’ playlists (today’s hits, love songs, classic rock, 90’s alternative, 80’s collection and modern rap) and the rest need to be purchased using coins, the in-game currency. You’re given about 250 free coins to start (enough to buy a playlist at 249 coins), but the rest need to be earned through winning games or by purchasing through the in-app store.
So, doing the math, you’d need to play and more importantly win (to earn 3 coins a game) 83 games to buy just one playlist or just fork out real cash. However, coins can only be purchased in packs of 400, 1200, 3000 or 10,000 meaning you will always buy an amount of coins you’ll never be able to spend completely. This is a different situation to Draw Something, where while extra colours needed to be bought, it wasn’t integral to the game, but in Song Pop, the playlist is the gameplay, without it the game couldn’t function.
The actual game itself is addictively simple, a song starts playing, and you select from a choice of four what you reckon it is. This repeats for five rounds and the speed with which you identify the songs are tallied to give you your score for the round. It’s fast paced, slick and fun. Once you’ve received a response to your challenge, you’re able to see how fast they responded to the same songs.
In many ways the tension of trying to guess the song as quickly as possible, makes the game far more dynamic than Draw Something. However, unlike Draw Something, the challenge topics aren’t user created, so whereas you could have many different interpretations of the word ice-cream in Draw Something, there’s only one version of Viva La Vida. So until you’ve unlocked all the songs in all the playlists, you’re going to be getting songs repeating.
I also wish there were specific artist playlists, although, given the over protective and lethargic nature of the music labels, I wouldn’t be surprised if there was some licensing issue preventing that.
So, all in all, this is a pretty great game. Ticks all the boxes needed for a pick up and play game and the myriad of playlists give this game a high replay value, however, the auto posting of scores to Facebook and slightly (only slightly) twisting of the player’s arm to buy more playlists mean it’s not as stellar as it could have been. It’s free though, so give it a shot- just don’t give in to the allure of in-app purchasing.