Tis the season to play party games on your Xbox, and Let’s Sing 2020 is the perfect choice if you want to show off your silky singing skills, or have a good laugh with those who are more enthusiastic than talented.
There’s nothing complicated about Let’s Sing 2020 – it follows a familiar format of singing games that have come before it, including other editions of this popular singing franchise. To sing you will need a device with a microphone – you can use a USB microphone or a smartphone with the app downloaded onto it. This feature works well and allows anyone with a phone to join in.
On selecting a song, the music video starts and the lyrics scroll along the bottom, which are highlighted in time to the song. There are bars in the middle of the screen: their position indicating the pitch of the note and their length showing you how long you need to hold the note for. The aim is to hit these perfectly, although it will allow you to sing an octave higher or lower to make sure you can sing within your range. A dot moves across the screen to show you where you are pitching the note, so you can tell if you are too high or low and change accordingly – this is handy for the songs you are not as familiar with. The bars also have the words or syllables underneath but are quite difficult to follow so you have to make a choice whether to follow the words at the bottom, or the bars. If you correctly sing a note the bar will get coloured in and you will earn points. You should be able to hear your voice over the song. You can adjust the player’s voice output on the pause menu but even at the highest setting I was quiet – although this is probably a good thing if I’m honest.
Do well, and the game will reward you with encouragement in the form of ‘great’ or ‘perfect’, if you don’t hit the notes you will be admonished with an ‘OK’ or ‘oops’. Also, if you keep doing well you will earn a score multiplier, which will help you rack up the points, as long as you don’t put a foot wrong. Occasionally you will get a starred bar, usually at a particularly high note, and claiming this will give you extra points. Your score at the end of the song will gain you a record on that song – bronze, silver, gold, platinum or diamond. Trying to beat this record will keep you returning to each song, with the aim of getting diamond on all songs.
Let’s Sing 2020 offers you a choice of six game modes, with Classic front and centre. This is where you can sing solo or with up to three friends (or AI). In this mode you get to choose which song you would like. You can arrange the selection alphabetically by song title or artist, chronologically by year it was released or by genre. You are also told the difficulty of each song, out of 5 stars. I’m not sure what this is based on though, as I personally found it harder to score high on some of the 2 star songs than the 5 star ones. You are also shown the world’s top scores and how your highest score ranks against them. On some songs you can unlock an instrumental version by getting a bronze record. This ramps up the difficulty as you don’t have the singer to sing along with.
Feat. mode allows you to sing alongside a friend or the AI, where you take it in turns to sing parts of the song. You get scored on how well you do, which gives you a compatibility score out of 100%. Earning 50% will get you a bronze medal. LS World Contest is similar to Ubisoft’s Just Dance World Dance Floor mode as it allows you to play against online opponents. You get a choice of 5 different songs, each representing a battle with a different opponent. Singing better than your foe will see you climbing the rankings and earning badges that show on your profile. More could have been made of this feature, for example letting you try out songs from the expansion packs.
The Let’s Party mode is new to the Let’s Sing franchise and is the most interactive mode for larger groups of singers. 2-8 players play in teams of up to four and battle it out in a variety of different party games, each focussing on different singing skills like being on time or in tune. There is also a Mixtape mode in which you can select a ready-made playlist or mixtape – a selection of excerpts from eight different songs from the game grouped together in genres such as ‘female voices’ or ‘love songs’. Singing well will earn you up to 8 mixtapes for each song, and getting at least 15 tapes overall will earn you a bronze record, 20 for a silver, 25 for a gold etc. You can also create your own mixtapes containing your favourite songs.
Doing well on any of these modes will help you to rank up a level, which unlocks new avatars, which can be viewed and selected from the profile option on the home screen.
The final mode, Jukebox, is less of a game mode – it just allows you to watch the videos to the songs that you have already sung. I’m not sure what the point in this is; I guess the developers wanted to get their money’s worth out of the songs, of which there is a good selection.
There are 30 songs in Let’s Sing 2020, with a range of recent hits, oldies and a mix of genres – pop (such as Wannabe – Spice Girls), rock (Natural – Imagine Dragons), electro (One Kiss – Calvin Harris & Dua Lipa), rap (Don’t Call Me Up – Mabel) and ballads (Someone You Loved – Lewis Capaldi). If you want more songs then you can hit the Xbox Store direct from the homescreen where there are currently a further 8 packs, each with 5 songs. You can select from packs with titles like ‘Best of 90s’ or ‘Party Classics’, which helps you to build your library of songs with genres that you enjoy. Each pack costs £4.19 which, at less than £1 a song, seems reasonable.
If you are after a party game for the holiday season and beyond, or just like singing in your spare time to amuse yourself, then Let’s Sing 2020 on Xbox One is a great choice. Even though it scores you on your singing ability it is not too strict, and even the most amateur singers can ramp up a decent score and feel proud of their attempt. Whether you fancy yourself as a rock, pop or ballad singer, Let’s Sing 2020 will have something for you. Throw in the fact that you can sing with others, either competitively or cooperatively, and it’s certainly a fun game to share with friends and family.