Cross DJ Pro Review

Cross DJ Pro Review

Dec 3, 2015

As we get more immersed in mobility, it is becoming infinitely easier to count things one cannot do on a mobile device than to list the things we can. There are so many things that we can — or even actually prefer to — do on our smartdevices. With portability and connectivity added to the mix, they are truly becoming core pieces in our daily lives.

Admittedly, I have a thing for DJing. I’ve noted my thing for the urban coming of age flick Juice; Omar Epps character embodied everything that was cool to me at the time.

I wonder, what would Q have done with a smartphone laden with, say an app like Cross DJ?

The app itself looks serious, right from the start; the launch screen features a simple colored circle boarded by other smaller virtual buttons for volume and other effects. Playing around here reveals that tapping on said buttons invokes slick navigation, with sliding windows and visuals. The menu is snazzy without being gaudy, and quite responsive.

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Poking around also unveils that one can access onboard music. With one tap, it’s possible to select a song, and then putting the device into landscape brings a second set of controls plus virtual spin table up. At this point, one can just plug away and explore.

Mixing songs is a breeze, and quite the experiment. Adjusting song speeds is intuitive, and the software includes special effects to make productions more memorable. It’s easy to get lost in the features, and several are probably geared towards serious practitioners, but this amateur found it hard to put down.

It’s an interesting piece of software. There are other options, but Cross DJ has a professional feel that adds to to it’s overall allure. It packs in an insane amount of functionality, is quite customizable and isn’t too hard to get a hang off. It probably won’t replace Dre on the physical ones and twos, but it is a pretty compelling mobile substitute.

Most importantly, it’s a lot of fun.

Crayola DJ Review

Crayola DJ Review

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.

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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.

TouchMix FX Review

TouchMix FX Review

Sep 12, 2012

Trends come and go. Something is hot today, and inexplicably ignored tomorrow.

Make no mistakes about: DJs are always cool. From Cousin John who did weddings and was paid in reception beverages to platinum plaque-garnering producers like Dr Dre, dexterity on the ones and twos is interwoven in our culture.

Gamevil’s TouchMx FX twists production and heart pumping arcade-style gameplay and creates a tidy package for the fingers. Coming in at under 50MB, it shows that good things can come in small packages. It also gave me an opportunity to be the beatmaster I so dearly craved to be.

I found the game easy to understand; anyone who has unwittingly burned calories playing Dance Dance Revolution will have an idea as to how to play this game, excep fingers do the walking. I used both hands to tap vertically dropping bars and/or circle, matching taps to the beat. When I tapped them at the right moment, I was greeted by a grade of sorts; “Perfect” was what I wanted, though I was way happier to see a “Good” than the ominous “Fail.” And, I have to tell ya: the game favors people with nimble fingers. And just in case lines don’t work visually, I was able to pick circles for the visual cues.

An additional fun component is the Quest List, which is a staple of any arcade-like game. Achievements are garnered by streaks and such. In the Settings panel, I found options for sounds, sync control and even graphics.

TouchMix is an engaging game, but I suspect its simplicity could become monotonous for some. An expansion of the genre of music is something I would also like, but really, techno is almost a must-have for a game like this.

I’m high on TouchMix FX because it tackles the difficult job of creating a mobile game that can be enjoyed across generations. It’s a game that is able to wrap up most of the senses, and I found it hard to ignore its challenge.