Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Play That Tune Review

Play that Tune moves the 'name that tune' format of other games one step forward by giving you the means to recreate each song on a fold out keyboard. It's quite a clever step forward and a good way to teach kids some musical talent in a fun format. It's also quite silly fun if you're an adult, regardless of your level of musical experience.

To play the game is as simple as it sounds. You split in to two teams, with one player given a card of notes to play on the keyboard. The keyboard has numbers from 1-8 and the card tells you which numbers to play and the name of a song. It's then your job to try and play the song as intended in 45 seconds, or at least to a level where the other team mates can guess it. You've also got a clue that can be given to help people guess.

Oh and did I mention you play with your feet....

Yep, I don't remember having to do that in music class, but in Play that Tune you've got to recreate the music in a totally hands free way. The keyboard is made from a similar material to your average dance mat, and you don't have to apply much pressure to the keys to generate a sound. It's quite easy to play on and robust enough that you can hit a key twice in quick succession with it playing the sound fine.

The main thing that is tricky with Play that Tune is that you're not given an indication of how to play the song other than the notes. Even if you know the song it can be tough to decipher just where abouts in a song you are picking up from. So when you try to recreate a song it'll take a few goes before you can get the speed just right. You've got as many goes as you like in 45 seconds, so this creates a frantic scenario as you try to get the song right, whilst team mates throw wrong answers at you.

In terms of songs it's generally a mixture of Christmas songs and nursery rhymes to keep the kids happy, old school rock songs for Dad and ballads for Mum. So a card could contain 'Somebody to Love' or 'Humpty Dumpty'. The cards try to be all things to all people, and the game is clearly aimed at children based on the cover, so it's generally pitched at the right level. However I for one wouldn't mind seeing an adult version with recent hits and a larger keyboard for adult feet.

Play that Tune is an original way to teach children how to play an instrument and have fun doing it. The keyboard does a good job of replicating the real thing (apart from a C that sounds more like C sharp) and the time limits adds a good competitive element to the proceedings. I'd play it again.

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Every product on this site has been received for free, and given to me by the product manufacturer or their associated PR organisation in return for a review.

I have no other personal or business association with these companies, and all reviews are written truthfully and based on my own experience. If I hate a product I will say so (and have done on many occasions!).