Popscene (Music Industry Sim)



    Popscene (Music Industry Sim)'s review

    Published: 2014-02-10, by .

    Ultra-complex music industry simulator: recruit a band, get signed, and rock your heart out

    • Complex and wholly engaging
    • Heaps to explore
    • Import your own mp3 tracks for your band to play
    • Import your own mp3 tracks for your band to play
    • Import your own mp3 tracks for your band to play
    • Import your own mp3 tracks for your band to play
    • A little learning curve

    "So you wanna be a rock & roll star"

    Maybe it's American Idol's fault. Maybe it's because of Almost Famous. We could blame Woodstock if you like, or delve even deeper back and put the blame squarely on Elvis' most inspirational gyrations. Regardless of the origin of the fantasy, pretty much everyone's dreamt of rocking out onstage to the accolades of a teeming crowd of fans. A shot at stardom is in your hands with MDickie's Popscene, a super complex simulator of the music industry.

    Design your principal character, including an instrument of choice, skill distribution, and appearance (cowboy hat ). Pull the best talent from a pool of over 100 artists across 6 different labels, each with their own skill set to contribute to the success of your career. Set up the team behind the glass as well - you'll need the very best geeks at the helm of the mixer to make your tracks top the charts. Once you've recorded a smashing album, hit the road and play over 20 unique venues, each resulting in a detailed review that picks apart your specific strengths and weaknesses.

    The fascinating depth and detail to which you can immerse yourself in Popscene is nothing short of phenomenal. For example, hitting the big time isn't a simple as just generating crowd-pleasing hits - sure, it'll draw in quick fans, but you're subject to become a one-hit wonder, forgotten just as quickly as Flappy Bird (ohh, I went there alright). You've got to balance driving a hard bargain with the bloodsucking record labels and being able to put bread on the table, plus keep watch on your bandmates for signs of discontent.

    One especially neat toy: the app will auto-generate tracks for you as you write them, which is a fascinating randomized noise generator in itself. However, once you tire of the mish-mash of in-game sound files, you can opt to use mp3s that you've got stored on your device. This means your Popscene band can jam to Phish, or Cradle of Filth, or Miley, or Foghat, or whoever floats your rock-n-roll barge. Metal.

    A small complaint has to do with the complexity of the game - there are so many options for tweaking your band that the only way to figure out what all the different buttons do is just to poke and hope. It's funny; I realize that if this were a simulation game for the computer from the last couple decades, it would come complete with an instruction manual. Since it's on mobile, you're forced into a greater amount of experimentation - which, on reflection, is probably a more accurate portrayal of the actual music industry experience anyway.

    If you're intrigued by the ins and outs of the music industry (or in the biz yourself!), love complex simulation games, or just have a hankering to rock out onstage, get ready to get lost for hours in MDickie's Popscene.

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    Janel Appszoom logo

    by Janel , Appszoom

    Feb 10, 2014

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