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The Sound Cypher is the card game giving Spades a run for its money

The Sound Cypher is a card game that meshes musical creativity and good-natured competitiveness, in a format that encourages sharing hot songs and specific tracks that speak to you as a listener.

“I love the way that music can say things that words alone can’t convey, and how it brings people together despite any differences,” says its creator, Mr. Murray.

“Music is a superpower that is accessible to anyone!”

The universal card game carries over 200 categories and puts your musical expertise to the test. Like music, The Sound Cypher brings all walks of life together, no matter the age. It’s the perfect game to play just about anywhere, and the decks on hand bring out a different groove to whoever possesses them.


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Q: What type of music can be used while playing #TheSoundCypher? TSC: It really depends on the way you look at the cards! Q: Like this? TSC: 🤷🏾‍♂️ we guess! 😂😂😂 ______________________________________________________ Join T H E Sound C Y P H E R ______________________________________________________ #TheSoundCypher • #OldSchoolHipHop #HipHop #MusicLover #musiclovers #90sHipHop #90sRnB #LoveForMusic #gamenight #partygames #partygame #drinkinggames #tabletop #tabletopgames #boardgamesofinstagram #musicgames #successfulkickstarter #kickstarter #HBCUhomecoming #blacktravelfeed #blackandabroad #blackowned #fortheculture #NightsAtHome #musicplaylist #goodmusic #goodmusicgoodvibes

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At the flip of one card, one should expect to pick a song that “features words that are made up,” “carries the word ‘morning,'” or is “from a co-ed group,” to name a few categories. There are three game editions: Open Format, R&B and Soul, and Hip-Hop.

To play, you’ll need three to ten people, at least 1 phone, tablet, computer or smart TV, and access to the internet. First, you’ll want to go on YouTube and put it on Theater Mode. Then you should shuffle the cards and put the deck in the middle of the party group.

To choose who goes first, one member of the party must show that they have something music-related. Great examples of this are artist/band tattoos, articles of clothing, pieces of jewelry, or phone wallpaper. If no one in the room has neither of these items, the person who went to a concert most recently starts the game.

Each game begins with Card 129, but this card doesn’t count towards a score. Instead, it allows players to introduce themselves and get a feel of the game. After the first player reads what the card says, they have 90 seconds to find a song on Youtube and play it as their response. Once the song reaches its 1-minute mark, the next player gets to choose their answer.

After a player cuts off the previous song, they only have 10 seconds to play their song. This process repeats until everyone has played a track. While the songs are playing, everyone gets a chance to explain why their tune correlates with the topic.

Additionally, artists can only be used one time per round/card. No songs can be repeated, and searching on external sources is prohibited. The person with the most votes gets points for that round.

Points should be tallied after each Cypher. A “Cypher” occurs once each player in the game has been the first to lead the round. The player with the most votes in each round wins!

The Sound Cypher started as a way to share music between the creator, Murray, and his now-wife when they were getting to know each other. The musicaholics would speak about musicians they loved, musicians they disliked, and why they felt this way.

For hours, the two would have it, sharing music and memories. This ritual went on for years, even after they had kids. Eventually, the Murrays shared their ‘game for two’ with friends.

As time went on, it started to grow, as more people asked Murray what the rules were and how to play it. The Sound Cypher was created when he began implementing ways to share the game with friends who had played with them.

More recently, Murray has been working hard to bring The Sound Cypher to the interwebs, amid the current pandemic. He also plans to participate in a variety of charity events. Murray and his team are working on concepts that will help bring the game to a more diverse audience.

Out of the 200 categories, Murray loves the responses from card 101, that asks players for a song that they loved as a kid that they didn’t know had an adult theme.

If he had to choose four other favs, Murray would choose the Open Format cards that look for songs about various topics, a song that features an animal in the chorus or title, songs that tell a story, or the best song from one-hit wonders.

The hardest card for players to choose a song for, in his opinion, is the “Clean Hip-Hop” card. He believes this card is difficult because hip-hop tunes tend to contain a variety of colorful words.

Although most age groups can play the Sound Cypher, Murray concludes that 12-year-olds play best (competitively) with adults of all ages. As of late, he’s been “crate” digging on Apple music, but one of his favorites right now is Add-2.

“I love his 2019 project, Jim Crow the Musical,” says Murray. “This album has that TPAB feel with some of its unique flavors.”

Some of his favorite artists are Biggie, 2Pac, Jay-Z, Kendrick Lamar, J. Cole, The Internet, Kaytranada, Thundercat, Donald Byrd, and Columbia Nights. He also likes to dabble in the 70s disco and funk era. “I love the universal nature of music!”

To be a real musician, Murray says they must be authentic and have a message that serves a purpose. He advises game-changers to believe in themselves because if they don’t, it’ll be hard for anyone else.

“Possessing a level of undying belief in your ability to do, learn and adjust is essential to bringing anything to fruition,” says Murray.

“I’ve found that if you keep your circle tight, plan with the intent to execute and focus on achieving incremental goals, motivation can flow! That flow keeps you renewed and eager to tackle whatever is next.”

Make sure to check out The Sound Cypher and play with your friends online here or cop that personal deck here. By the way, whose turn is it?