Call it stating the obvious, but you don’t tend to get a lot of mileage out of novelty games. By definition alone, they don’t inspire much confidence or promise replayability. Something you can drag out for friends once you’re properly shitfaced, or mess around with during some vacant stretch in your mind when imagination has failed to build a better preoccupant. Likewise, Project Rap ($1.00) won’t make you a better rapper.
What it will do, though, is make you laugh, and, you know, entertain you, for a few minutes. Which is about all you can ask of a novelty toy. The game is essentially a build-your-own-joke machine, one part focusing on a ’Yo Mama’ fight against the AI (or a local friend), the other on a freestyle session where you can choose the end rhyme of a lyric, or design your own, completely from the in-game library (500 words).
Consider it like a PaRappa the Rapper: ‘8 Mile’ version, or maybe that awful Wilmer Valderrama show on MTV. The lyrics are sung by one of four aspiring wordsmiths, comically auto-tuned, chipmunk-ed, and tweaked to sound different. You can play it off serious if you like, though more often than not, your choices are limited by the difficulty and what words the game decides to throw out there. Intentionally or inadvertently, you’ll be crafting some pretty bizarre rhymes.
There is some legitimate challenge in that if you look for it, though. In addition to the various difficulties that shrink your word pool, the AI will outclass and out-diss you. Scoring factors in not only your ability to rhyme, but the speed at which you spit said verses. The lowest difficulty will always highlight the best word choice for you, but at higher tiers, you’ll have to spot the matches on your own. With the limited time between lines, students of grammar will have a leg up on competition, stringing together combos like a true playa would.
All I can think of when I hear ‘Single Ladies’ is this, unfortunately.
With only two real song types in the jukebox, there’s a definite chance the game will stale over time. Two player mode (because it’s always better to have a corporeal target) is arguably the best option at holding off that tedium, and where the most fun can be had. Wordplay and mama jokes aside, there’s a defensive cheap… ahem, ‘sheep’ move, that you can use to eliminate your opponent’s potential rhymes, to their bleating chagrin.
It sports some depth, but that ridiculousness cements Project Rap’s place as being purely a party game. Online leaderboards, and the ability to save and playback all performances, gives it some added value and humor. It’s not going to make your (or anyone’s) ‘Best Of’ list, or increase your ‘skillz’ on the real-life mic, but hey, that’s alright. I LOL’ed.