Wednesday, January 9, 2008

i-List Party Game - Reviewed!

Reviewed by: Anne Murphy, & Nolan (age 13)

The idea behind this game is simple. Two to four people plug their mp3 players into the console, and race to find songs on their own playlist that match specifications from the card that is drawn from the deck. The person with the most points (one per win) when all the cards have been used wins.

This game has the potential to be a lot of fun, but unfortunately a few issues with game play knocked it down to a mediocre rating from both me and my 13 year old son.

Setup was fairly easy, although a Phillips head screwdriver is required to insert the batteries (or a bit of innovation, I used a small fingernail file to loosen and tighten the screw). Once the batteries are in, the console immediately springs to life and man’s voice begins giving instructions. We plugged our iPods into the console and began playing.

We didn’t formally follow the rules. Instead we just decided to use the blue questions (there are four different colored questions on each card), and try some races. At first things went well, as we were getting the hang of scrolling through our playlists as quickly as possible (not an easy feat – do you look through artists, albums, songs…?). After a few questions, however, the man’s voice on the console became annoyingly repetitive as he barked directions at us each time we pushed a button on the console. Soon we were telling him to “be quiet, we get the picture” etc.

One has to know their music collection pretty well to find songs to answer the questions, and we did enjoy the challenge of trying to remember things about our music.

Then the technical problems set in. Each time you press the start button for a new question, a timer begins as players race to find their song. In theory, as soon as somebody finds a song and presses play, the console begins playing the song out loud so all players can decide if it really “answers” the question. When they hit play, a green light lights up at their station and the rest of the players can no longer affect the console. After working perfectly fine for several songs, the console began lighting up whenever I began to scroll through my playlist, even if I was in artists or albums – thus effectively blocking my son from winning, even though I hadn’t actually chosen a song yet. He suggested that perhaps it had to do with the fact I was using one of the new Nanos, which has very sensitive scrolling. Maybe, but that doesn’t explain why it had worked all right earlier, and then started working properly again a little later. He has an older Nano, and didn’t have the problems I did. Also, sometimes the console would not work at all when we selected a song and pressed play.

I think people can enjoy playing the game, and we did get a lot of laughs over some of our answers and even the barking command voice. However, I believe interest will wane quickly if the technical problems persist for players. For an overall score, I’d only give it 2 ½ stars out of five.


Dawn of the Read said...

Thanks for reviewing this for us!

It will be available to borrow from Service Center if anyone else wants to try it out!

Deborah said...

Does this game work with both iPods and windows-based players?

Anne said...

It is supposed to, yes. But we only tried it with iPods.