Four dudes of advancing years go head to head in a sing off... and it's hilarious
A tried and tested way to win someone over to a game they might not normally try is to press a beer in their hand and get them to start playing it. And so it was with our pre-release experience of the new Xbox and PS4 incarnation of We Sing.
It's the model for how many first-time grown-up players of We Sing will first encounter the game: off the cuff at Christmas and office parties, late night boozy gatherings, and so on. Our advice is to go with the flow and belt out your best, it's hilarious.
(Obviously if you've got kids, the chances are there won't be booze - but you'll likely still get press ganged into a bit of Britney or Sia.)
The game has followed the pathway of so many singing superstars and jumped ship from early-album years of the Wii to the big-money mass appeal audiences of PS4 and Xbox for the new release, which comes with 30 songs pre-packed. It's still created by the original team however, from UK and European houses Wired Productions, Le Cortex, and Nordic Games.
The original Wii version sold towards 2m copies, and also had numerous 'encore' packs which focused on singers and styles as varied as German dance anthems, Robbie Williams, and the 80s.
The game is essentially competitive Karaoke: up to 10 players can use microphones (or their smartphones) to sing, and the electronic Simon Cowell algorithms will deem you hopeless or hopeful depending on your tone and rhythm.
On screen lyrics and beat cues will help, but there's no cheat codes or cheese spots for this one: what's needed to win is to overcome your reticence for singing by sheer desire to pwn your pals. But the scoring won't tolerate Whitney-esque vocal 360-no-scope warblings, and you are advised to stick to the original as close as possible.
The interface is really simple and friendly, points and progress very clear (so you can double down on your rapping if falling behind) and original videos make an appearance too. You can buy it with or without mics, and to use your smartphone you just download a small app that hooks it into the console's local network, a really nice feature.
Multiple game modes include co-op, versus mode, or single...err.. singing. You can submit scores online too, to see how well you fair against the masses.
Release is due in the second half of November, price TBC but retailers are showing around the £20-25 mark, or £40ish with mics. For the kids alone (if they like singing), it's good value; add in a couple of parties or office events and it's a steal. And what better way to casually get a console in your workplace than a team-building singing session?
The launch tracklist of 30 has a wide enough span that every generation will have something to tackle from memory, even if you go on to butcher them in a tone-deaf rendition that reminds you that for most singing is for showers and traffic jams:
Fifth Harmony ft. Kid Ink - Worth It
Pharrell Williams - Happy
Demi Lovato - Let It Go
Bruno Mars - Locked Out of Heaven
Major Lazer & DJ Snake ft. MØ - Lean On
Avicii - Wake Me Up
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis ft. Wanz - Thrift Shop
OneRepublic - Counting Stars
Shawn Mendes - Stitches
Sia - Chandelier
Queen - Another One Bites the Dust
a-ha - Take On Me
Rita Ora - Poison
Charlie Puth ft. Megan Trainor - Marvin Gaye
John Newman - Love Me Again
Coldplay - Viva La Vida
DNCE - Cake by the Ocean
Maroon 5 - She Will Be Loved
Wiz Khalifa ft. Charlie Puth - See You Again
Lady Gaga - Bad Romance
Lukas Graham - 7 Years
The Bangles - Eternal Flame
Fall Out Boy - This Ain't A Scene, It's An Arms Race
Cyndi Lauper - Girls Just Wanna Have Fun
ABBA - Dancing Queen
Avril Lavigne - Complicated
Britney Spears - ...Baby One More Time
Elton John & Kiki Dee - Don't Go Breaking My Heart
Usher ft. Lil Jon & Ludacris - Yeah!
David Bowie - Let's Dance