Dancing Stage Euromix

Dancing Stage Euromix is one of the earliest dance mat games. The graphics are blocky, even for the time, and there are no 8-way moves, timed steps or other embellishments that came later. But this game still has a few things to offer that later games don't.

The game is played by watching arrows scroll upwards and pressing the corresponding pad on the dance mat when they reach the top. It's easy to understand, although not always as easy to perform the moves. Fortunately there is an extensive lesson mode that takes you through all the moves step by step. If that's not enough, training mode allows players to practise any track, or part of any track, with the help of a metronome, five different speeds, and even an option to hide the arrows so that you need to memorise the steps.

Dancing Stage Euromix is well geared towards beginners, but another strength it has is that you can play it at lots of different difficulties. In workout level there are four characters to choose from, and each of these influence the gameplay in addition to the four difficulty levels. A speed gauge also gives an indication of how fast each song is.

24 may sound like a good number of tracks, but only a handful of these are chart hits by well-known artists. There's Cameo's "Word Up", "I Will Survive" by Gloria Gaynor, "So Good" by Boyzone, Shaft's "Mucho Mambo", and "Video Killed the Radio Star" by The Buggles, for example. Many of the other tracks were produced specifically for this game, and amongst these there is a distinct leaning towards rave and techno tracks. That's not to say that the music is bad or that it all sounds the same, just that there isn't a very wide range of styles to choose from. There is also a considerable overlap between the music on this game and that of Dancing Stage Party Edition, so if you buy both you'll be justified in feeling disappointed.

Dancing Stage Euromix will appeal to dance mat newbies because it's a simple game to grasp with plenty of opportunities for gradual improvement. However it may not really have a wide enough variety of music or gameplay to sustain your interest for very long, especially if rave isn't your favourite musical genre.