A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Sing Party is a karaoke game for the Wii U. Unlike other karaoke games, no music videos appear in the background, which removes some of the concerns about sex and violence. The songs are mostly family friendly with no lyrics that are truly objectionable -- and several that are uplifting, such as Katy Perry's "Firework" and Katrina and the Waves' "Walking on Sunshine." Similarly, the dance moves are very tame compared to other dance/karaoke games.
What's it about?
SING PARTY is a fairly traditional karaoke game, with a slight twist thanks to the Wii U's Gamepad. Players sing along to a mix of recent and past hits via a USB microphone. Pitch is less important in this game, which is more about having fun than improving your vocal skills. In the game's Party Mode, one player can read the lyrics from the Gamepad, while others follow dance moves on the TV and sing occasional backup vocals. In the Sing and Team modes, the lyrics are on the TV screen (while the Gamepad can be used to add songs to the playlist, adjust the volume of the instrumental or vocal portions of the song). The game scores players on their performance in Sing mode; and singers can work to better their skills in the game's practice mode. All songs are unlocked from the very beginning, so the scores aren't an important part of the game.
Is it any good?
Sing Party's lack of sexy (or violent) videos makes it suitable for families and since the game doesn't boo anyone off stage (no matter how tone deaf they might be), it's fun for large groups. The music mix is a good one, too, with 50 songs blending recent hits and some older classics (i.e. it's a safe bet this is the only time Frank Sinatra and Carly Rae Jepsen will appear together). It's a title that's likely to enjoy a presence at family get-togethers.
While Sing Party is hardly a bad karaoke/dance game, it ultimately feels like a missed opportunity, given the promise of the Wii U's two-screen approach to gaming. Rather than using the Gamepad to display lyrics for all game modes, the game relies on the television screen for two of its three modes, giving it a very "me too" feeling. It's a pivotal opportunity to differentiate itself that's squandered. Also, the scoring system in the game's sing and team modes isn't well defined (not that this is a game that's focused on sing-offs against friends). Given its high price, this is definitely a title you should rent before you buy to see if it's for you.
Talk to your kids about ...
- Platforms: Nintendo Wii U
- Subjects: Arts: dance, music, singing
- Skills: Collaboration: cooperation, group projects, teamwork
Communication: multiple forms of expression
Creativity: making new creations
- Price: $59.99
- Available online? Not available online
- Developer: Nintendo
- Release date: November 18, 2012
- Genre: Music and Dance
- Topics: Music and Sing-Along
- ESRB rating: E for Lyrics
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.