Perhaps we won’t get to take part in this TV show in this life time, but this doesn’t stop us from enjoying the alternative method in the form of a game. BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing (exported as Dancing With The Stars in the US) has teamed up with Big Point to come up with an online browser game based on the series.
Just like in a Sims game, you start by customizing your look and choosing your professional dance partner (I picked Mark Ballas). But what makes it different from the typical video gaming style dance games, most of which only require you to hit the arrows on the screen as accurately as possible, is that this focuses more on the point and click aspect as well as being able to compile and design your own dance choreography after attaining a certain number of steps (and practicing using energy slots). Before you can perform in front of the judges, you and your professional partner are required to practice your moves in the game’s studio, as well as put together a killer outfit using the in-game money earned from doing various tasks, such as practicing your moves or completing tasks. During the performance section, you can choose your stage lighting and floor effects, and off you go, using your mouse to click the inside of the green circles in order to “nail” your moves. You’re then scored based on how much you’ve practiced in the studio, how you’ve put your outfit together, and whether you’ve managed to nail your moves during the performance. Just like in Dancing With The Stars, you’re ranked using the iconic judges’ paddle system.
The game is similar to some of the popular Facebook and apps games (The Sims Social and Scramble With Friends come to mind) where how much you’re allowed to play depends on the amount of “energy” that’s available in the game. As you play, this energy gets used up, but they recharge for free through time. If you’re the impatient type though, you can always pay money to speed up the process. However, I do not recommend paying as it is likely to tempt you to have to spend quite a large amount over time.
I do like the music variety that they have put into the game. With favourites such as Conga, Toxic, California Surfing and La Cumparasita to choose from, you can say that we’re spoiled for choice when it comes to selecting your own music for your custom choreography. So far, the only thing I dislike is the fact that some of the music fall into the wrong dance style (for instance, hearing a samba song in a tango selection).
Any cons? None really if you count out the occasional lag due to the game still being in the beta mode (as well as the wait time for energy recharge as mentioned earlier). After registration, you will need to download the required plugin in order to run the game, but it is not a massive file and it’s easy to install, so you’re good to go once you’re all set up.
Overall, it’s a fun game for times when you just want to amuse yourself by watching your dancing Sims sweat the moves (while repetitively looking like they’re bickering in circles). Best of all, registration is free! I can’t wait until I can finish learning all the Samba moves in the game!
Check out Keep Dancing here.
Photos: Screenshots from game play