Humm Together: Humming games still have a long way to go on Facebook, iOS
Back in October, we took a look at Hibernum Creation's Hum-a-Song on iOS, the first in an apparently growing genre of humming games. Hum-a-Song challenges players to hum tunes and send them to friends and strangers alike for them to guess, but now, Hum-a-Song itself has some competition in the form of Humm Together, another iOS game that's also available to play on Facebook.
Humm Together is almost identical to Hum-a-Song, as players can challenge both their Facebook friends or random players to guess songs across multiple genres and languages. On each turn, a player hums into their iOS device or computer microphone, and can send that audio clip to their opponent for guessing. Here, Humm Together gives players an option of three songs per turn, with each song having a different star difficulty rating. The guessing mechanic is also different, as players are simply shown a list of possible answers, rather than a scrambled set of words as in Hum-a-Song. While this true multiple choice setup makes the game easier overall, it also shows off the game's biggest problem: it lacks iTunes support and instead presents music through YouTube videos.
If these YouTube videos were official, first party videos from the artists themselves, that would be great, but instead they're lyrics videos made by random YouTube members, or covers created by members with questionable singing ability. In theory, this eliminates the need for players to sit through the ads that official artist videos would contain, but seeing a video with random graphics and usernames is incredibly sloppy and unprofessional to say the least.
Like Hum-a-Song, Humm Together also comes with flaws even in its general design. There's nothing stopping a player from simply singing a song, rather than humming it, or even playing an audio clip while the game is recording. The need for actual noise input also limits where and when users can actively play, as playing around groups of strangers or at work is basically out of the question unless they're willing to be embarrassed by confused onlookers. Plus, Humm Together is impossible to play without giving the game permission to post to your news feed without prompting you, which just feels scummy.
Overall, the setup of Humm Together works well, as the quality of "hum" audio seems to be high, and the interface is snappy and clean. Still, the lack of iTunes support and reliance on third-party YouTube videos is odd to say the least, and its requirements for Facebook permissions simply aren't user-friendly. In a music genre already dominated by the superior Song Pop, it will be interesting to see if developers keep trying to make humming games work. If you'd like to test Humm Together for yourself, you can now try out the game on Facebook or iOS for free.
Play Humm Together on Facebook now >
Click here to download Humm Together on iTunes >
What do you think of Humm Together or Hum-a-Song? Do you think these kinds of humming games have a future? Share your thoughts with us in the comments!