ST. PARIS – Those looking to try out karaoke without the fear of getting up in front of strangers can now do so among friends without expensive equipment.
St. Paris residents Tracy Carnes and Dave Konicki have created “Grab the Mike,” a new karaoke-style board game. The idea grew out of a gathering of friends who were fighting over the microphone of their own karaoke machine.
“Nobody wanted to pass the mike, so we made them put the mike on the ground and waited for a song to come on to pick up the mike and sing. We set up rules, a board, and put a ring around it to keep people out,” Carnes said.
And so the game idea was born. The game should be available in mid-January.
In “Grab the Mike,” the microphone is placed in the middle of the board. Playing cards with different genres of music are divided into two piles, and players choose a card from either pile. Whatever music genre is entered is put into a person’s music app on their smart phone or TV, and the first song that comes up to play must be sung. The first player to recognize the song grabs the microphone and either sings the first few lines of the song, or uses a “pass chip” to force others to sing it. If no one picks up the microphone, play stops and the next player chooses a card.
The person who picks up the mike and knows the first two to six lines gets a number of points, depending on the known lines. If the microphone is passed to another player and they don’t know the song, the player that passed the microphone gets a point and the player who attempted the song loses a point. If the player passed to does know the song, that player gets a point and the player that passed loses a point. The first player to 11 wins, being declared “da King of Karaoke,” according to the game’s website, grabthemikegame.com.
“It’s a lot of fun,” Carnes said. “It’s like karaoke on steroids. You play it so fast, you don’t have to wait for a six-minute song to finish. Everybody is laughing and having a good time, especially people not good at singing.”
There’s an added twist – the group does all the judging for points.
“If you sell the song, you can get points for it even if you don’t know the words,” Carnes said. “If (the group) thinks you did a good job trying to sell the song, they give you points.”
Carnes said he believes there’s no other game like this one. It is a great party game, he said, and works for all ages.
It took about four years to develop the game, get the copyright for the concept and find a company to produce it. Carnes said WinGo Industry Ltd. from China is making the product.
The game can be purchased for $34.99 at www.grabthemikegame.com.
Casey S. Elliott may be reached at 937-652-1331 ext. 1772 or on Twitter @UDCElliott.