Admittedly, we haven't watched The Voice much – all we know is that Tom Jones used to be on it and swivelly chairs are involved. The series, which has been going strong in many different countries, has finally decided to capitalise on the fact that there's only one other karaoke game releasing every year. But does it give the Now That's What I Call Sing franchise a run for its money?
In a way, it does – but it's not like we're head over heels in love with that series either. While the two games are very similar, The Voice does have a unique selling point in the form of a mode which lets you play through the show as if you were a contestant. You start off by auditioning with a song of your choice before choosing which genre you want to sing on the next round. After two “battle" rounds in which you sing a duet with an AI – sounds sad, we know – you next have to get enough points to impress the audience before singing another song of your own choice in the final. It may sound a lot, but it only takes about half an hour or so.
While it is fun the first time around – and also allows you to unlock songs for the Jukebox mode, which we'll come onto later – it's far too easy to win, and the battle round especially just feels weird. As “fun" as it sounds, singing a duet with AI isn't enjoyable at all, and feels downright weird as you just sing a part of the song before waiting a little as your opponent “sings" – as in, the song just plays normally as the loneliness sits and you to start to re-evaluate your life choices.
While fans of the show will appreciate playing through the rounds, it gets old quickly and the lack of any recognisable faces or voices – the judges are just generic silhouettes who spout random comments about your singing – doesn't make it feel like the show at all. There aren't any arenas to look at, as the only in-game visuals are music videos, so in the end the Show mode is literally just singing five songs and then winning a trophy that's sticking two fingers up at you.
The Party mode, however, is more of a hit, but ultimately suffers due to the fact that only two players can play at the same time. The selection of songs is quite good and has a lot of variation, with Kaiser Chiefs, Imagine Dragons, Bruno Mars, Jess Glynne, John Legend, and Queen all making appearances. It's fun to play with a friend, but the operative word there is “a" – The Voice will never be a viable party pick because only two people can play at the same time.
The aforementioned Jukebox rounds out the selection of modes, but it's not a deal-maker: it's simply the Party mode but the songs play in an endless loop and transition between each other more quickly.
The Voice may have the advantage of branding and licensing, but in terms of gameplay it hits a bum note. The song selection is quite good and has quite a bit of variation, but the fact that only two players can sing simultaneously really detracts from the concept of it being a party game, and the Show mode feels no different to any other karaoke game option.