Music game


Even though the idea behind a game like the classic PlayStation SingStar games sounds horrifying, it's the perfect example of a game that shouldn't be judged until played. SingStar is/was a form of karaoke/torture party game. It typically came bundled with a couple of microphones, and its premise was that hapless players would use these to sing along to a track played by the console, with the lyrics and notes shown on screen. The players were then scored according to how close their pitch and timing matched those of the original. Due to the limitations of Playstation processing, this scoring was often crude and approximate, but it all ended up being surprisingly fun – especially at family get togethers. Normally, everyone playing would sound equally bad, and a play session would often end in fits of laughter and incredulity.

This is why, after the sun has set on SingStar's popularity, it's great to see a few open source equivalents keeping the beat alive and letting you play a similar game on your Linux box. And Performous is one of the best. Thanks to its support for lots of song formats, including UltraStar, Frets on Fire, and StepMania formats, plus the ability to work with dance mats for additional personal humiliation, you can get started quickly. The game can work with multiple inputs and outputs, provides comprehensive configuration for using one microphone per player, and even allows for a webcam-based background to the play screen, so you can see who is laughing at you from behind. It works brilliantly and plays just the same as the original – complete with cheesy band photos as a background, highlighted lyrics, and dodgy pitch tracking for your singing.

Project Website

Make your parties sing with Performous! You can even impress your friends by using the keyboard as a drum kit.

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