I never got into the Draw Something craze. Something between a lack of skill and large fingers on a tiny screen meant that I was lucky if I won against a three-year-old. Fortunately, my dignity could be redeemed with the introduction of a new app, named Song Pop.
When Song Pop showed up in the App Store, I am pretty sure music lovers everywhere cheered with joy. Now they could show off not only their song knowledge but also their artist knowledge, in a five question multi-round music quiz where you are pitted against other music fans. A combination of fast answer times and correct answers in music genres including ’90′s Alternative and Modern Rap is what it takes to show you are the Song Pop queen or king.
When you first start Song Pop, you will need to create an account. This can be done either via connecting with Facebook and/or creating a username and password. Once you have that all sorted, you can find other friends that are also using Song Pop or begin games with other random Song Pop users.
You might have noticed when you were searching for the app in the App Store, that there is both a paid and unpaid version of Song Pop. The premium version let’s you play with more friends, has extended HD quality music clips and is ad-free. I’ve been playing with the free version and not had any difficulties. Sure, the ads are a little irritating, but so far (knock on wood) they aren’t too frequent.
How to Play
For simplicity’s sake, we will call each session with another player a battle. Within one battle, there are usually three rounds – the round where you picked the playlist, the round where your opponent picked the playlist and then the round where you again picked the playlist.
I say usually three rounds because this is how it works when your opponent is not logged in at the same time as you are. When you log in you will see the results of the first round (i.e. the round you already played). Then you will play round two and see the results (remember your opponent already played this round so you get to see the results straight away). Lastly, you’ll play round three. Your results of round three will be sent to your opponent and you will only see the outcome the next time you log in to battle with them (assuming they have finished the battle).
So far, I’ve never played at the same time that my opponent has been online, so I can’t help you there. I assume that the process is basically the same, but without the extra wait.
When you battle, you are trying to guess the song title or the song artist (depending on the answers) from four options. This can take a little getting used to but it is relatively easy to figure out.
You can battle against people you know or start a game with a random person by clicking on the “create game” button at the top of the home screen. If your opponent is taking too long to respond, you can nudge them or delete them altogether. The number of games you win and/or lose is totalled throughout a one week period at which point everyone starts at zero again. You can see how much time is left in the current tournament and your weekly high score on the home screen above the list of people you are currently playing against.
The tournament bonus system, high scores and achievements are currently changing on a pretty regular basis. No doubt by the time you read this, some if not all of the elements and how they are calculated will be different than described here.
The scoring system of Song Pop is probably the most confusing part of the app. The part that is most clear is that if you win you receive three coins and if you lose you receive just one.
The official response about how scoring works is as follows:
“Score is determined by speed of answers as well as combo, i.e. how many good response you have in a row. Each time you get a combo, you get extra bonus points.”
So be prepared that you and your opponent might answer all the questions correctly with your (overall) speed quicker than your opponent and still end up with less points than they receive. Don’t worry, you aren’t the only one to find it irritating.
What Can I Do with All Those Coins & Levelling Up
Coins can be used to purchase new music playlists via the Pick a Playlist screen that shows up when it is your turn to decide the music genre/playlist for the battle, or to purchase more power ups that allow you to shuffle the playlist options and to eliminate answers from the game screen.
As you make progress in different music genres you will earn points which go towards filling up your stars. This is also the way that you unlock new songs within playlists you already have access to.
Song Pop is brilliant at two things. First, it reminds you of all the great songs that you had forgotten about and second, it is brilliant at being addicting. More times than I wish to admit to, I have thought, “oh, just one more battle,” and then gone on to play several more rounds.
However, the scoring system needs to be more transparent. Complicated — fine. Weird — I can probably cope with. But it definitely needs to be more transparent. I’d also love to see more ways to use your coins, as so far I haven’t been tempted to depart with any of mine.
Overall though, this is one app that is going to remain on my iPhone for quite some time.