Most music-based games are based on the same premise: interaction with the rhythm or beat of the song in some form or fashion. That’s why Say What?! [Free] seems like such an interesting take on the genre; rather than interacting with the musical composition, the game challenges you to interact with the actual lyrics. While I think that Say What?! is definitely one of the more interesting takes on the genre that I’ve seen, a very limited selection of music coupled with a lack of gameplay diversity leaves it somewhat wanting.

The premise of Say What?! is simple: as lyrics to a song are displayed at the top of the screen various images scroll across the bottom portion from right to left. When portions of the lyrics light up, you must tap on the image that corresponds to the highlighted lyric.

On easier difficulties the relationship between image and lyric is simple. However, as the difficulty ramps up, the relationships become more abstract and require greater thinking and comprehension. This is further amplified by the fact that a lot more images start going by faster on the harder difficulties.

Make no mistake, while Say What?! may be classified under the music genre, this is less of a music-based game and more of a puzzle/word comprehension title oriented around music lyrics. Fans of Rappin' Granny [$0.99] will be somewhat familiar with this type of gameplay and should enjoy it, as well as anyone that can handle games that require snap thinking. However, for everyone else this game will probably seem like a frustrating exercise in futility.

Until you play it a few times, that is. One of the biggest issues I have with Say What?! is that the highlighted lyrics and images associated with them appear to be set pieces. This means that, assuming you play the same song enough, you should be able to memorize the patterns for each song and thus raise your score with ease. Sure, the surrounding wrong images appear to randomize each time, but if you know exactly what image to look for, you really won't care about the other 'noise' images.

This is further compounded by the fact that Say What?! only has three free songs, with a paltry seven more songs available as IAP for $1.99 each. The IAP seems a bit expensive considering that there's not even any way to preview the songs being purchases (although I suppose one could just search online for a preview of them). Finally, while I don't have a problem with the songs I tried, I feel that the limited variety of genres will be a turn off for some players.

While I did enjoy Say What?!, it's a game of limited appeal and limited content. If you're looking for an interesting twist on the puzzle/music genre, I'd say give Say What?! a try. Unfortunately, even if you enjoy the experience, it ends up being way too short. Hopefully the game will continue to expand and add more songs of various genres, which would be a good first step of creating a fan base around this interesting game.

TouchArcade Rating

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Say What?! Reviewed by Eric Ford on . Rating: 3