When you start developer Voxler’s NOW That’s What I Call Sing (or Let’s Sing 2016 as it’ll be known in the US when it’s released on November 10th), you’re greeted with a cheery title screen, bright colors, and a catchy tune. This perfectly encapsulates what this game is. I’ve never played a Let’s Sing game, but this one in particular is just about having fun and singing to some Top 40 tunes.
When you start up one of the 30 songs in NOW! Sing, you’re given the option to play various modes with up to four players. Sadly, the game doesn’t support Kinect so you’ll need some mics. The game comes with only one, but most people probably have some old Rock Band, Guitar Hero, or Lips microphones lying about and they all work just fine. You start with two modes in each song: Classic, which is just the normal play-and-score mode, and Pass the Mic, which has you passing the mic in a game of hot potato. You unlock more by either doing well in the songs (for instance, scoring over 50,000 points in Classic will unlock By Heart mode) or you can just purchase them with earned VoxPoints, which is the in-game currency earned by singing songs and scoring well. The actual gameplay is fairly standard karaoke fare, with the game scoring how well you can follow the tune of the song with no regard for the actual words coming out of your mouth. There’s also an option in the menu that allows you to turn the vocals off, giving a more traditional karaoke experience. You don’t have to be a good singer to find enjoyment here, especially with friends and family. Sadly, there’s no online play, so you’d better have some local mates to jump in or you’re out of luck. And, if you JUST want to listen to some music, there’s a Jukebox Mode that plays the music videos without any HUD items.
If you’re looking for a range of genres, the game can be a bit lacking. The songs are all of the Top 40 pop variety, with most of them coming from the post-2013 years. There also seems to be no “downloadable content” menu, meaning unless it’s a free update it’s unlikely new songs with be coming down the line. The sound quality is good and when you’re singing a song the artist’s music video plays in the background. The compression on the video can be hit-and-miss, but overall you’re going to mostly be looking at the lyrics and meters trying to sing along so you likely won’t notice. And, since some of the music videos lean toward the risqué (like Calvin Harris’ “Summer” showing a woman in only sheer undergarments), it may not be wholly appropriate for the younger crowd. The censoring is all over, too, with some swear words censored, some not, and then whole explicit sexual euphemisms left in (I’m looking at you “Bang Bang”). But, if you’ve played music games before you know the censors are a bit all over the place.
NOW That’s What I Call Sing is a fun singing game with a good selection of recent popular songs to jam to. It’s fun to play alone and polish your karaoke skills, but is even better when played with others. You can sometimes feel like the game is tone deaf but soon you’ll get the hang of the scoring system. If you’ve played games like this before you’ll catch on quick. Just like all games of this sort, the enjoyment you’ll get for your money depends on how much fun you’ll have singing and trying to improve your score. It’s not perfect, but there are far worst choices! Grab your mic, GripYaJoystick, and sing the night away today on Xbox One and PlayStation 4!