Let's Sing Country: A star is born in every living room.

In a time long ago our household was very engaged in Karaoke Revolution on PlayStation 2, a Konami game developed by Harmonix, who later wou...

In a time long ago our household was very engaged in Karaoke Revolution on PlayStation 2, a Konami game developed by Harmonix, who later would have a big hit with the Rockband franchise. Karaoke Revolution would go on to have many sequels and even made a few American Idol spin offs until the ratings started to pan and the series unceremoniously was killed off. We played those old games for a while until console upgrades, and HD TV's made it  impossible to play them without suffering through a laggy mess.  Since then we have tried to recapture the same magic with a bunch of similar games. Rockband was nice, but the singing part was not well featured. Singstar just did not bring the same feel of competition and fun and ever since we have been left longing.  Now DeepSilver has brought the Sing series to the USA for the first time with Let's Sing Country.  Will it be able to pick up the torch and fill the whole left by the departure of Karaoke Revolution or will it leave us reminiscing for the tunes of the past? 

As I mentioned this is Let's Sing's first entry into the USA. But Voxler has been making music games since 2005 and the series has spawned many different titles in the past few years including "Now that's what I call music" and "the Voice" crossovers.

Sing has a long history in Europe.

So how do you play Let's Sing ? As you would expect you are going to need a microphone. You can get a two microphone pack deal for $59.99 at the time of release or if you already have some USB microphones from other game such as Rockband or Karaoke Revolution then you can get the stand-alone version for $44.99. Oddly enough the Switch version is exclusive to Gamestop. Keep this in mind if you want to get the version for the Nintendo console. If you do not have a mic and do not want to pay for one, then you can also use the Let's Sing microphone app to transform your phone into a microphone for the game. You can support up to 4 players using a combination of microphones and phone apps.

The concept of the game is simple. Sing along with the song and try to stay in tune. To help you do that is a colored bar that moves across the screen and you have an indicator showing where your voice is in relation to the target range. Keep in tune for a long period and you build up your combo bonus. Hit the golden notes that are spread out through the song and you get even more points. Singing the words right is not really important, as long as you hit the right notes in the right key and timing. Unlike Karaoke Revolution where the song would stop if you did really bad there is meter to maintain here. You are able to finish the song no matter how bad you do, just with a lower score. Surely you will do better next time.  At the end of the song the points are added up which help you to level up. As you gain levels you also unlock features and bonuses in the game such as avatars and stickers. Each mode in the game is a variable to the same concept but each with a twist.

  The Let's Sing Country Title comes with 30 songs and 5 Game modes:

  • There is the classic mode in which you can sing solo or with friends. Think of it as you standard Karaoke. 
  • The Feat mode in which you try to blend your voices and get a high compatibility score. This plays out a bit like a duet where each player sings different parts and some parts are sung together.
  • Mixtape offers snippets of songs that you randomly switch between and try to sing as well as possible. It is a cool little mode to play at a party as a competition. But I would have like to see it a bit more random. There are also fairly big breaks in between each song, where I would have preferred quicker switch overs to make it a bit more hectic and feel let disjointed.
  • In world contest mode you compete against other players in the world. Try to beat their high scores and gain levels and reputation.If you rather not compete so directly you can still see how your score ranked compared to your friends and to others in the world as the game will automatically show this next to each completed song. No matter in which mode you unlocked it.
  • And lastly there is Jukebox mode. Exactly as it sounds like. You get to listen to your favorite songs, as long as you have unlocked them.
Everything is better as a duet
Each song is presented with their official music videos, giving it a good appeal for those that are currently not singing. The words to the song are at the bottom of your screen , but also chopped up in the sing bar to help you place them properly but these are a bit hard to read. So in my case I switched back and forth a lot between the words and the sing bar. Having the original artists perform is nice and creates a feel of authenticity. On the other hand you have less control over the vocals of the songs. Only a few songs can have the instrumental versions unlocked for use during the game and it is not possible to turn down the vocals. You can turn up the microphone volume to the game to drown out the original vocals somewhat but it would have been nicer if we can tweak the balance some more.

Each player gets to pick a fun cartoon avatar to represent them in the game. They come with fun expressions and movements and gamify the karaoke concept and fit well with the theme. As you level up and pass certain challenges you will unlock many more avatar skins. Cute as they, are it would be a great addition if you could just build and customize your avatar with un-lockable costumes over time. This was a recurring feel with the game where I wish things were just a little bit more developed to give choice and options to the player. And yes I admit many of these thoughts come from my all time favorite singing game. Thoughts such as why can't I have a free sing mode where there is no score or voice tracker?  Can there be a true duet mode with songs made for it. Will we ever see knock-out rounds complete with match ladders for true singing competition.

The same goes for additional song downloads. I do not have a big knowledge of country songs made after 2005 so I looked into new songs. They are easy to download from the store directly from in game. Within no time I was singing along with Lionel Richie's " All night long".  Each download pack will cost you $4.99 and comes with 5 songs. At a dollar song it is priced reasonable, considering again that you get access to the original artist's song and music video. But it made me wish for just Let's Sing subscription service like Just Dance and pay a yearly or monthly fee for a large library of songs that has been established over the years of Let's sing releases. I am also not sure if these songs will work with future releases of Let's sing or if I have to buy them again each time.

All in all we had a lot of fun with Let's Sing Country. It might be missing some of the game elements that was Karaoke Revolution back in the day but the core of the game feels right and hits the spot. The avatars make the game feel fun and the software is registering your voice well. We had some trouble making the phone app sync up with the game at first, but once it all worked it worked well and it is pretty impressive how technology has moved forward. Using a microphone however is the way you want to go so make sure to pick some up if you don't have any. Just be aware that you need a USB hub for the Switch as the dock has only one USB port. With the scoring mode your can go head to head with your friends and see who is the best singer or see who is the best duo combo in the house. These options can bring a lot of fun to your next party and engage everyone while having a great time. People can be nervous when it comes to Karaoke but many of those same people love to compete in a game. Let's Sing seems is the new champion of karaoke games in a market that has been sorely lacking in this category. Hopefully this entry to the U.S. market is a start of more songs becoming available and many more sing parties inside the house.

Let's Sing Country is rated T for Teen, mainly due to the song lyrics and the music video's. Gameplay wise it is a very family friendly title but it is up to you as parent to decide which songs are appropriate for your kids to sing and listen too.

Game information:
Title: Let's Sing Country
Developer: Voxler
Publisher: DeepSilver
Release date: October 25, 2019
Platforms: PC(Steam), Nintendo Switch,Playstation 4,XBOXOne   
Version Reviewed:  Nintendo Switch
ESRB: T  for Teen: Lyrics, Mild Blood, Mild Suggestive Theme, Mild Violence,Use of Alcohol and Tobacco

The Let’s Sing Country track list:

1.      Bebe Rexha feat. Florida Georgia Line, 'Meant to Be'
2.      Cole Swindell, 'You Should Be Here'
3.      Darryl Worley, 'Awful, Beautiful Life'
4.      Kelsea Ballerini, 'Peter Pan'
5.      Lady Antebellum, 'Just a Kiss'
6.      Rascal Flatts, 'These Days'
7.      Sam Hunt, 'Take your Time '
8.      Toby Keith, 'I Wanna Talk About Me'
9.      Chris Janson, 'Buy Me A Boat'
10.   Dylan Scott, 'My Girl'
11.   Michael Ray, 'Think A Little Less'
12.   Granger Smith, 'Backroad Song'
13.   Joe Nichols, 'Sunny and 75'
14.   Jordan Davis, 'Singles You Up'
15.   Dierks Bentley, 'Burning Man'
16.   Dustin Lynch, 'Small Town Boy'
17.   Jimmie Allen, 'Best Shot'
18.   LoCash, 'I Love This Life'
19.   Devin Dawson, 'All On Me'
20.   Jon Pardi, 'Dirt on My Boots'
21.   Eric Church, 'Round Here Buzz'
22.   Lauren Alaina, 'Road Less Traveled'
23.   Jake Owen, 'Down To The Honkytonk'
24.   Chris Lane, 'Fix'
25.   Kacey Musgraves, 'Follow Your Arrow'
26.   Cody Johnson, 'On My Way to You'
27.   Dwight Yoakam & Buck Owens, 'Streets Of Bakersfield'
28.   George Strait, 'The Chair'
29.   Glen Campell, 'Rhinestone Cowboy'
30.   Kenny Rogers, 'The Gambler'


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