Abarcy

Just Dance

Pick up a Wii Remote and dance. It couldn't be simpler. Just Dance puts as few barriers as possible between the player and their groove with this party game.

There are no profiles to set up. When you get a high score there aren't even any names to type in, although the highest score on each song is recorded. Everything is geared towards getting you moving quickly and easily.

Play involves copying the on-screen dancer as though he or she were your mirror image, whilst the Wii Remote in your hand tracks your moves. Strictly speaking it only tracks the movement of one hand but this is about taking part, not perfection. Up to four players can take part at once, and second and subsequent players can join in or drop out at any point during the song. Icons at the bottom of the screen are there to help you anticipate the next move.

Music

A game like this is all about the music, and with 32 tracks there's a good range, in various styles and activity levels. Highlights include MC Hammer's U Can't Touch This, Irene Cara's Fame, I Like To Move It by Reel 2 Reel, A Little Less Conversation by Elvis vs. JXL, and Groove Is In The Heart by Deee-Lite. There are a couple of tracks that don't fit so well, however. Survivor's Eye Of The Tiger and Dee Dee Sharp's Mashed Potato Time don't come with the most stunning dance moves, unless miming sweeping floors, making food and flexing your biceps is your idea of cool.

Warm-Up

The warm-up sequence starts off gently, but it's very thorough in terms of using lots of different muscles. It's not essential to start with this, which is good news if you're using this game immediately after doing other exercise. However it is pleasing to see this included because it means the makers have given serious thought to preventing injuries. Full marks for the warm-up.

Modes of Play

There are four ways to play: Quick, or three Challenge Modes. In Quick Play you pick one song at a time. The Regular Challenge pits players against each other over a number of rounds. Again you can choose each song, but for faster play you can put it on automatic song selection for a random playlist. This encourages you to dance to a wider range of tracks than you might otherwise. Even if the music isn't your thing the choreography often makes it worthwhile.

Challenge mode also has Strike A Pose, where you have to hold still at some points in the song. I found this to be hopelessly oversensitive to very small movements of the Remote. Unplayably so.

In Last One Standing you start with seven lives, and you lose one with each wrong move. When all your lives have gone you drop out. It's difficult, but worth a go once you've got the hang of songs on the regular mode.

And that's more or less all there is to it. This is a very simple game, but that doesn't mean it's no good. It's pick-up-and-play nature and the lack of fluff mean it's perfect for parties. The music is enjoyable and varied, both in style and in how demanding the dances are. Strike A Pose hits the main off note, but on the whole Just Dance is a fun way to keep fit and get your blood pumping.