Hum a Song: Social Gaming Made (Even More) Awkward

Posted October 5

Most “social” games are designed to be social in the safest possible way — tend virtual crops with friends, shoot irate birds with friends, play what basically amounts to Scrabble with friends (whilst taking your sweet time to form a new word). Really, the most intimate game out there is likely Draw Something, where your art skills (or lack there of) are on sad, sad display. Well, human contact seekers, there’s a brand-new social game on the scene and it’s really, really awkward: Hum a Song.

According to Hum a Song‘s release — it just launched — “Hum a Song is the [iOS] music app looking to dethrone SongPop. It’s a music trivia game played with friends that pits thousands of popular songs against… your humming skills! Imagine playing ‘Name That Tune’ by listening to your friends’ humming and whistling, rather than the original recording.” Could my friends be drunk? I feel like listening to my friends babble through ‘Hotel California’ would be somehow enhanced if done through a glass of whiskey.

In terms of UI, Hum a Song is pretty similar to supremely popular social game, the aforementioned SongPop: Choose who you want to play against (a Facebook friend, a random or a group of people), choose a song (electronic, reggae, ’70s classics), record yourself humming the song and wait for your opponent to guess that tune.

When they’re finished, you’ll get a chance to do the same. When guessing, you’ll be presented with a jumble of words from which to construct the title (you can also remove a certain number of words — or add them — to narrow down your options). Naturally, the app also has a bunch of in-app purchase options, which can be used to remove ads, extend recording time and unlock more categories.

As a concept, Hum a Song is pretty cool — it’s like super awkward karaoke, and that’s something we can get behind. However, right now the newly launched game has several bugs. I had issues dragging the words up to guess the title, which is a huge flaw, and I kept getting error messages after recording my own songs. Granted, my horrible, secretive in-cubicle humming could have set off said messages, but somehow I doubt it.

Good idea guys, not-so-good execution. However, if the Hum a Song team can get their act together on the next go-around, they could have a pretty compelling product.