Lips: Number One Hits



Fantastic karaoke, but adult themes in lyrics and videos.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Sex and drugs are all over MTV, so they're here, too.

Positive role models

Women are treated like sex objects (or make themselves into sex objects). It's not every song, certainly, but enough of them to take note.

Ease of play

The pitch sensor in Lips is a very forgiving judge. In standard play, you can't fail a song.


Some videos contain frightening or disturbing imagery, including Rhianna's "Disturbia," Tupac's "California Love," and Tokio Hotel's "Red Set Go," which takes place in a prison camp and features explosions. There's also a bizarre custom video that plays for songs with no video of their own, which features two animated armies battling each other with swords. The doll-like soldiers get limbs cut off and lose stuffing.


There is sexual talk in the lyrics of many of the songs, and several videos feature women in revealing clothing, often dancing in a very suggestive manner. Cleavage is everywhere. A few videos show men and women rolling around in bed, including Mariah Carey's "Touch My Body" and Roxette's "The Look." Many also show kissing. A woman's buttocks is grabbed in Black Eyed Peas' "Don't Phunk With My Heart," Dr. Dre raps about pimps in "California Love," Aqua sings lines like, "Undress me everywhere" in "Barbie Girl," and Lily Allen talks about taking her clothes off to become famous in "The Fear."


Words like "damn" (Jason Mraz's "I'm Yours") and "ass" (Blondie's "Heart of Glass" and Tupac's "California Love") are left uncensored. Harsher words are skipped over in songs by Lily Allen and Rihanna.


When first placing the game disc in the Xbox 360, you are reminded not to forget about the original Lips game, because you'll need it to earn certain Xbox Gamerscore achievements. Players are also constantly encouraged to purchase and download new song tracks for the game at a price of $2 each.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Multiple videos show people drinking. Lady Gaga's "Just Dance" is all about being drunk (or worse) at a nightclub. Kanye West smokes a cigarette in several scenes of the video for "Heartless." "California Love" makes reference to hemp, and cocaine is specifically mentioned in Beck's "Loser."

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this fabulously made, highly entertaining karaoke game features the actual music videos for most of the songs it includes. Those videos often feature scantily clad women, sexual material, suggestive dancing, and sometimes cussing, drinking, smoking, and references to drugs. If you keep your children away from these videos on MTV or YouTube, you'll want to exercise the same caution here.

Kids say

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What's it about?

LIPS: NUMBER ONE HITS is a singing game that allows players to perform along with a variety of hit songs from different genres, and rates perfomances based on how well the singer hits and holds the notes. The game comes packaged with a wireless, motion-sensitive microphone, which turns it into a more physically active game as well. Players may be called up on to shake the mike like a tambourine or to use it to strike certain poses at key points in a song. Players can sing cooperative duets or in competitive duels. They can also plug in an MP3 player and sing along with any song of their choosing.

Is it any good?


Lips: Number One Hits is one of the better-looking, better-performing, and more polished karaoke games out there. The scoring is gentle enough to let lots of people feel good about their singing at a party. The ability to create playlists and upload your own MP3 tunes to the game also add to its value as a party game. One great thing about Lips is that all the tracks are ready to go from the moment you pop in the disc -- no need to play through a tacked-on story mode and "unlock" songs. Being as Lips is such a great party game, it would have been nice if a second microphone had been included (you can have up to four, all being used at the same time, but those are, of course, sold separately). The motion control on the mikes works really well, and the ability for anybody to pick up a controller and provide percussion is a fun addition. All in all, this is a great package.

Online interaction: For every song you sing, you are ranked on Xbox Live's leaderboards, and awarded tropies based upon your ranking. Users can also challenge others online to song duels. There's no way to censor online interactions.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the portrayal of women in the media. How are men and women depicted differently in these videos? Is it realistic? Or fair?

  • Parents can also talk about Kanye West's smoking. Is his smoking meant to be appealing in the video? Or is it meant to symbolize his character's depression?

  • Parents can remind children about safeguarding themselves during online interaction.

Game details

Platforms:Xbox 360
Available online?Available online
Release date:October 21, 2009
Genre:Music and Dance
ESRB rating:T for Lyrics, Mild Cartoon Violence, Sexual Themes, Use of Tobacco

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  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Educator and Parent of a 15 and 16 year old Written byEluminahta December 7, 2009
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