Music-based games are undeniably popular. All you have to do is look at the near endless stream of Guitar Hero and Rock Band games out for gaming consoles, to see that this is true. Those games, however, all require a significant investment if a non-gamer wants to play. Of course, the realm of social games, where most things are free, was poised to fill in that gap.
So, it should be no surprise that MXP4 launched Monday a social music gaming application for Facebook. The game, called PUMP IT, is produced by MXP4 in partnership with EMI Music. The songs are based on the work of David Guetta, a well-known DJ and producer.
The game works a lot like the classic children's toy Simon. The circular game space, designed to look like an amp, is broken up into four quadrants. As the song plays, waves of sound head towards the center of the amp your goal is to have your mouse in the right section when the sound wave hits the center.
No clicking, you simply have to be in that area.
If that sounds overly simplistic, that is because it is.
Not that simple is not beautiful or engaging. But the game is buggy. It registers mouse movement outside of the designated game space, and sometimes registers it in the wrong quadrant. If you leave your mouse in the lower-right hand corner of the screen, you can still accumulate points for waves in the lower left hand side of the board. This reporter managed to score almost 2500 points without even putting the mouse on the game board, or moving it at all. In addition, songs are repetitive, with several re-mixes of the same tracks being offered over and over again. I see little excuse for this, since the title had a 15,000 user limited beta launch before going live on the site on Monday.
Despite this, the game boasts 353,601 monthly active users on Facebook, with 1,329 people liking the title, which currently has a five-star rating. As with any Facebook game, you can publish your score to your profile, passively promoting the game while you brag. This title also has a built-in ranking system which displays the top five scores in real time.
Makers of the game have sweetened the pot, by adding the chance to win official merchandise, premium subscriptions to Spotify and the chance to meet David Guetta himself.
Paris-based MXP4, which was founded in 2006, is also the brains behind the Michael Jackson Interactive Music App, and Diesel's 'Be Stupid' Karaoke Contest. In addition, the company makes several other version of the PUMP IT game featuring artists like Nelly Furtado, Lloyd Banks, and Ministry of Sound. MXP4 is backed by Orkos Capital, Sofinnova Partners and Ventech.
MXP4 has yet to respond to inquiries about the above mentioned bugs in this title.
(Images above property of MXP4, EMI Music, and David Guetta)