Jun 16, 2015
I was hanging with some friends I wasn’t supposed to hang with, watching a movie I wasn’t supposed to watch when I decided what I was going to do in life.
The movie? Juice. The coming of age movie that featured Tupac and Omar Epps. Even Latifah made an appearance. Folks will remember Tupac’s tragically gritty performance, but it was all about Epps’ character, up and coming “local” DJ Q. Yes… the honeys, the money. Juice. I was going to spin and scratch my way to glory.
Unfortunately, I never came up with the money for a turntable, and Napster changed the direction of the music industry, so I changed paths. Deep down though, there has always been a KG-Spinderella hybrid in my soul.
Crayola DJ, a new game introduced at Google I/O, awakened the dormant monster.
It’s a simple app, and the tutorial guides one through the appropriately flashy user interface; the game incorporates several musical bits in different, broad musical categories, like hip hop, dance, holiday, pop and fusion. Within each of these are sub-components, like drumbeat and melody. using a two table visual system, it’s possible to add, subtract and otherwise tweak a jam pretty specific targets. It’s even possible to blend outputs, adjust tempos and special sound effects. It is surprisingly vivid, and the game gets high marks for the creativity alone.
Then the game challenges one to really rev up the production, allowing the player to chase points over a set time period; in this, the player gets points for being as creative as possible, with combos, effects, speed ups/downs and just keeping it steady. It is interestingly logical, and quite an enjoyable concept. There is even a local PVP option.
Created sounds can then be saved, piped via wired speakers or bluetooth and other wise enjoyed.
Crayola DJ does the enviable job of being easy to pick up while also hitting on the fun and creative. It is relatively self-contained, so nothing else is really needed to get it going after purchase. The number of musical loops and pieces make it possible to mix and match a countless number of times; the possible permutations allow for something new to be created every time. The scoring aspect is simple, and the PVP option is a nice touch. I think a multiplayer option would be nice (across devices), but for the target demographic, it works.
For a creative game that masquerades — delightfully so — as an offering for younger folks, Crayola DJ is remarkably cross-generational in appeal.
I suspect even Tiesto would agree.