Karaoke games are my guilty pleasure. I can’t think of anything more festive than firing up the latest singalong game with the hits of the year and compete against my family and friends after sipping a few too many Old Fashioned cocktails. With 2020 being the year of lockdowns and COVID, the release of Let’s Sing 2021 has been even more important as I’ve spent more time with my family running out of discussion points this year than I probably have throughout the last decade!
Let’s Sing 2021 is a traditional karaoke game: players will get to sing along to the songs that are bundled with the game with the lyrics being displayed on the screen. Their aim is to not only sing the words correctly, but also hit the right notes. The game gives you an idea of whether the tone increases or decreases with bars that change height throughout the song. Ultimately however, in order for you to successfully sing a song, you need to know its melody already. You can get away with not knowing the lyrics of the song since they will appear on-screen, but you need to know the melody. As you hit more and more notes without going off-tune, you’ll build up a score.
Those who have played Let’s Sing 2021 will be familiar with the game modes on offer. There is a Classic mode that simply lets you go through a playlist of songs that you need to sing one after the other. However, there are some more amusing modes that are geared towards family play. The Let’s Party mode introduces challenges where two teams will end up competing against each other. There is a Mixtape mode where the game mashes up multiple songs and you need to be able to sing all of them in essentially one large track. If you don’t want to compete, you can even sing songs as a duet. A new mode is Legends, where you essentially compete but against the AI. This is perhaps my favourite, since it adds a challenge to the game and essentially a mini singing battle towards the end. Legends will unleash your inner-Glee like no other game mode has. “Pop Chicken” is perhaps the craziest mode, as you’re singing for mystery boxes that will let you gain an advantage over your opponents.
Often, the reason people don’t buy singing games is because they feel that they’ll also need to invest in USB microphones. Whilst the game supports the ability of up to two microphones via USB, you do not need these. Let’s Sing 2021 is one of the most accessible karaoke game I have played to date, and this is because you can use any combination of USB microphones, your gaming headset’s microphone and even your smartphone. There is a dedicated Let’s Sing app available on iOS or Android. You can sync your app up with the game session extremely easily and then get up to four people in the same singing contest. Let’s Sing 2021 this way becomes a lot more accessible than other karaoke franchises.
The problem with any singing game is that the library of songs ultimately needs to be appealing. Without a good song list, it doesn’t matter how well the game plays. Thankfully, Let’s Sing 2021 has a fantastic track list. Usually, I only want to play a karaoke game to enjoy 3-4 songs. I only end up recognizing about 50% of the songs since I’m just not into pop music. However, as I hovered over all of the tracks in the game to hear the preview, I ended up recognizing over 90% of the songs. In fact, I’d go as far as stating that Let’s Sing 2021 has perhaps the best variety and arsenal of songs that I have witnessed in any singing game. When I can belch out the words to “Kiss From a Rose” by Seal, “Somewhere I Belong” by Linkin Park and “I Just Can’t Wait to be King” from the Lion King all in one game, I know my family is in for a real treat. Think of the types of songs you hear in a shopping mall when you’re entering Topshop, River Island and H&M. If you’ve heard it there, you most likely will see it in the game too. Many of today’s mainstream artists including Ariana Grande, Justin Bieber and Billie Eilish are featured in the game.
I thought that playing the game with two microphones would be the best solution, however using my smartphone turned out to be even better. The problem with USB microphones is that you’re restricted by the cable. However with your smartphone, you’ll end up enjoying the game wirelessly, which gives you the ability to bust-a-move should you see fit. In my case, it allowed me to sabotage my opponents when they were singing!
As each song plays, the official music video also plays behind the lyrics and the song bars. This adds a level of authenticity that only a few other karaoke games I’ve played will also have. A lot of singing games will have the music licensed but not the video. Therefore, you’ll have generic avatars usually dancing in the background. Let’s Sing 2021 however contains the official music videos to elevate your experience.
There is also a platinum edition of the game that includes 11 DLC packs. This will take your entire library of songs up to 85, and will come with packs including legendary hits, best of the 80s and 90s and party classics. I am sure more will be added too, so your library of songs will hopefully get bigger and bigger.
I never thought I’d see it, but Let’s Sing 2021 also has online leaderboards. It suddenly doesn’t make the game eSports compatible – I often felt that my opponents were singing slightly out of tune but the game still rewarded them for it. It is also very likely however that I’m just tone deaf. Nonetheless, there will be someone out there who will figure out a way to potentially cheat the online leaderboard system – it wouldn’t be very fair if the lead singer from Imagine Dragons played the game and topped the leaderboard for his song “Thunder”!
Let’s Sing 2021 is just what we needed this year. It’s an incredibly fun game that has a fantastic track list with more via DLC, and doesn’t require you to commit to any additional hardware assuming you have a smartphone. The number of modes far exceeded my expectations and there will certainly be a mode that everyone will get behind depending on the group you’re playing with. Despite this time of the year being an intense period of the gaming calendar where blockbuster games are being released, I can’t think of a game that will provide you with more fun and laughter with your close friends and family than Let’s Sing 2021.
A full track list of the standard edition of Let’s Sing 2021 can be found below:
- Justin Bieber - Yummy
- Tones and I - Dance Monkey
- Billie Eilish - bad guy
- Selena Gomez - Lose You to Love Me
- Ariana Grande - thank u, next
- Dua Lipa - Don't Start Now
- Jonas Brothers - Sucker
- Imagine Dragons - Thunder
- Maroon 5 - Memories
- Shawn Mendes - If I Can't Have You
- Lewis Capaldi - Before You Go
- Ava Max - So Am i
- Nea - Some Say
- Marshmello ft. Bastille - Happier
- Rita Ora ft. Liam Payne - For You
- Trevor Daniel - Falling
- Panic! at the Disco - High Hopes
- Katy Perry ft. Skip Marley - Chained to the Rhythm
- Sam Smith - Too Good at Goodbyes
- Lizzo - Good as Hell
- Major Lazer & DJ Snake ft. MØ - Lean On
- Calvin Harris ft. John Newman - Blame
- James Bay - Hold Back the River
- The Lumineers - Ho Hey
- KT Tunstall - Black Horse and the Cherry Tree
- Linkin Park - Somewhere I Belong
- Seal - Kiss From a Rose
- Genesis - I Can't Dance
- Kim Wilde - You Keep Me Hangin' On
- The Lion King - I Just Can't Wait to Be King