Song Pop Addiction And Synchronous Simulated Gameplay

Song Pop, a Name That Tune game from FreshPlanet (CrunchBase info here), is absolutely fantastic.

I first heard of it earlier this week when Mark Zuckerberg posted on Facebook that it “is one of the most fun and addictive Facebook games I’ve played in a while.” I clicked on it and spent the next two hours trying to pick songs faster than my friends.

At a simple level Song Pop is clearly the result of these guys looking at Draw Something and swapping drawing with picking songs. Much of the user interface is very similar.

But it’s actually a much better implementation of simulated synchronous gameplay than I’ve seen yet in a launched game.

That’s the magic, that’s why Song Pop is growing so fast.

When you play Song Pop, you start hearing a clip of a song. You select the song name or artist as quickly as you can from four choices (my fastest has been 1.1 seconds). You get points for choosing correctly, choosing quickly, and for getting a bunch in a row correct.

You win if you get more points than the person you’re playing against. They’ve played against the same song clips either before or after you.

But that isn’t what’s great about it. The reason why I’ve kept playing this game for hours is that it the app feels like you’re playing against the person in real time. It increases anxiety to choose quickly because you see their choices happen in real time (to you).

Song Pop records the other person’s game and then plays it back against you as you play. So you see when and what they’ve chosen as you’re hurrying to make your own choice.

It’s so realistic that the first few games I played I thought I was actually playing the person in real time.

This is also what Draw Something Does, but Song Pop does it much better. Or perhaps it’s just a better use case to show off simulated synchronous gameplay.

Clearly people enjoy playing games against other people instead of just interacting with software. But that usually means asynchronous play where you do something and then later someone else does something. The various scrabble games are good examples of these.

But it’s so much more exciting to be trying to rush to be faster than your friend in what appears to be a real time game.

And what makes Song Pop so great is that even once you understand that it’s simulated, it’s still great fun.

11 thoughts on “Song Pop Addiction And Synchronous Simulated Gameplay

  1. Phil Butler says:

    I cannot resist Mike.

    So, let me get this straight. You spent some time reading what Facebook’s founder wears for bed, spent some more time playing a game that “simulates” human beings on the other end of your conduits to the outside world (whatever those are now days), and a bit more time writing an article about the game.

    And somehow, with the utmost irony, typing FO into an instant messenger window, with a live person actually on the other end (one I might add you gave your contact details to) is IMPOSSIBLE? 🙂

    When this game lets me play against Mozart, I will be impressed. Otherwise, the technology, a decade into what you and I have written about all along (not counting all the others) is simply not awe inspiring. This is just my view (tainted, I admit, by just how strange our internet pals become).


  2. Yaniv says:

    What do you think about adding a “Play with friends” layer to all mobile games?
    think about a way to help games to be viral, increase retention and give the players what they want.
    Think PlayerDuel!
    In just a few days the second version is out.
    Enjoy 🙂

  3. agreed. awesome game and mostly awesome team

  4. This is really an interesting article. Thanks for the update..

  5. Tike Skooty says:

    Should try Picture Round :

    Its pretty neat too.

  6. Debbie says:

    I am not very good at this game but its really growing on me.. Would love to win MR.Z’s BUTT!!

  7. Cheyanne says:

    I need some more challengers. challenge me people devincent94

    • Wayne says:

      I know a known felon. Who does not have a job, lives off his wife. He is way behind on child support, and was almost in jail till his new wife paid the bond. He is a leader of song pop. High scorer. But all he does is play on the computer. Does not feed his kids, does not work. Smokes cigs, and almost starved his son till child protective services stepped in. So how do you allow him to feel wonderful about being the best Sept. 23?

  8. Joel says:

    Does anyone understand how this game is scored? I have been playing someone and have been a little miffed a few times when it seems to me that I should have won.

    The last one, I beat my opponent on the first four songs and lost on the fifth. She beat me by .3 seconds on the fifth song. I on the other hand had beat her by .3 seconds on two of the first four songs and by slightly less on the other two.

    Still, I had won on 4 of the 5 songs, my total time was higher, and she did not beat me on timing differnetials. I cannot figure out how she one, other than the winner of the last song takes the prize.

    As I said, this has happened a few times. It is really starting to annoy me.

  9. flamsterette says:

    I’m not very good at the game. I’ve only won once out of 11 or 12 tries. Might give up soon if this continues. 😦

  10. JoansMark says:

    How can you find you TOTAL won-lost record?

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