When Freddie Mercury first penned Bohemian Rhapsody back in 1975, there’s no way he could possibly have known the monumental challenge he was laying at the feet of Let’s Sing Queen players some forty-five years down the timeline. Fair enough, the first half of the song isn’t so bad – and let’s face it, we’ve all cranked out “I sometimes wish I’d never been born at all” whilst hungover and crying in the shower – but that second part, well now, you don’t really know yourself until you’ve bellowed “I see a little silhouetto of a man, Scaramouche, Scaramouche, will you do the Fandango?” at high speed into your phone – here acting as a makeshift mic – in a desperate attempt to best a friend or climb the song’s online world rankings. Freddie, you absolute monster.
Let’s Sing Queen sticks resolutely to the tried, tested and tidy formula of Voxler’s long-running franchise, with players singing along to thirty tracks across a variety of modes that cater to both solo and multiplayer warbling action. While there may not be the same breadth and variety of tunes here that comes with one of the big yearly releases in the series, or in the likes of the recent Let’s Sing Country, the magic of the British rocker’s decades-spanning back catalogue manages to compensate rather adequately.
With stone-cold, stadium-rocking classics such as We Will Rock You, Don’t Stop Me Now, I want to Break Free and Radio Ga Ga sat alongside the likes of Under Pressure, Bicycle Race, Who Wants To Live Forever and A Kind of Magic, there’s no arguing that this is a band who were wildly eclectic and consistently excellent in their output. Whether you’re a hardcore Queen fan who can blast along to Fat-Bottomed Girls with your eyes closed or someone who only knows Bohemian Rhapsody from a certain scene in Wayne’s World, there’s plenty of top-tier tunes to keep you crooning along here.
In terms of modes to play around with, if you’re familiar with the series, there are absolutely no surprises on offer in Let’s Sing Queen. ‘Classic’ play sees you, and up to three other human or AI performers, sing along to Freddie and Co. as the original music videos for each track play in the background. ‘Feat.’ mode challenges you and a partner to perform a duet together in order to receive a compatibility rating indicating just how well you worked together, ‘Let’s Party’s’ team-based action throws random spanners into the works – try singing along when the words or blurred out or holding a note perfectly in order to collect Mario-esque coins – and ‘World Contest’ sees you go head to head against opponents in online leaderboard battles. Rounding these modes out are ‘Mixtape’, which pits you against megamixes of Queen tracks or allows you to create your very own bespoke selections and a ‘Jukebox’ mode where you can put you diamante-studded boots up and chill with the game’s playlist and video selection, unlocking more as you complete them in Classic play.
All of the modes included here, except for World Contest, allow for up to three other friends to take part in the action (this rises to eight in Let’s Party’s team-based battles) or you can choose to fill spaces with the game’s rather easy-to-beat AI if your pals can’t take the heat of trying to keep up with Freddie Mercury’s frankly bananas vocal range. As with previous versions of Let’s Sing, if you’ve picked up the digital version and don’t have a couple of USB mics at hand, there’s a clever mobile phone app available for download that does an impressively solid job of picking up on every little modulation in your voice as you struggle to align your pitch with the note boxes streaming at speed across your screen. Should you find your phone isn’t quite keeping up to speed, there’s also a quick and easy to use calibration tool built into the app to get you back on track in no time. Classic mode also includes online leaderboards that give the whole thing a little bit of longevity, and we definitely had fun repeating and perfecting difficult sections of the likes of Bicycle Race in order to climb the world rankings.
There are a few legacy issues that still raise their head in this addition to the franchise, the most notable of which being that, as good as the microphone is at reading your notes and pitch, it doesn’t have a baldy clue what lyrics are coming out of your mouth at any time and so you’re free to pretty much sing what you want and still score big points as long as you keep things in tune – an unexpected boon for Aunt May who has made up her own absolutely wild lyrics to every song she’s ever heard. It’s not a huge problem in the grand scheme of things – you’re only really fooling yourself if you trick the system – but it definitely zaps some of the tension from proceedings, adds an element of distrust to the online battles and makes Let’s Party’s blurring of lyrics gimmick pretty redundant.
Besides this, however, what’s here is all very slick and easy to use stuff and while it’s a definitely a rather slim, no-frills package, it does what it does well and in no time you and a bunch of pals – this one really is at its best in a party environment – will be racking up multipliers and combo scores as you hold breathlessly long notes during We Are The Champions or manage to fumble your way through a complex series of Um Ba Ba Be’s with David Bowie in Under Pressure.
There are new Queen-themed avatars to unlock for every level you rank up to as you play – a rather pointless but undeniably cute feature – and really, there’s not much more to it than that. This one does exactly what it says on the tin; it performs perfectly in handheld and docked modes and we even enjoyed rocking along with a pair of headphones plugged into our Switch Lite – and you really will need headphones on Lite as the default volume on the diminutive console is annoyingly low here through its built-in speakers.
Overall then, if you’re in the mood for some Queen-flavoured karaoke, Let’s Sing Queen has got you more than covered and, although it may not have the most wide-ranging mix of tunes the series has seen thus far – and in some respects, this offering could really have been made available as DLC – there’s still more than enough good stuff in the thirty tracks selected from this legendary band’s eccentric back-catalogue here to get just about any Saturday night karaoke or Freddie-flavoured super party well and truly started.
Let’s Sing Queen is a straight-up, no-frills entry in the series that throws you into the legendary super group’s awesome back-catalogue of hits across the same selection of modes you’ll be accustomed to from previous titles in the series. There are absolutely no surprises here and a definite lack of variety when compared to other offerings in the franchise; however, with thirty (mostly) excellent tracks, accompanied by their highly entertaining original music videos and an official app that turns your mobile phone into an impressively robust mic, this is a solid good time for fans of the titans of rock, karaoke fiends and anyone who just loves to warble along to some classic rock anthems while re-enacting the best bits of Live Aid 1985 in the comfort of their own sitting room.