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Dance Fever Review

By Dave Flodine, on July 18, 2012


Dance Fever
Download on the AppStore
Rating

PROS

  • Good dance animations.

CONS

  • Your eyes have to look all over the place when playing.
  • Too much experience is needed to level up and unlock new dance arenas.
  • The sound effects for getting moves right overshadows the music.

VERDICT

A dance based rhythm game that needs more polish on its game mechanics, progression, and sound balancing before it can really shine.


  • Full Review
  • App Store Info

Rhythm games have always been at a disadvantage on the iPhone. While home consoles allow a player to live out their rock and roll fantasies with Rock Band, or dance up a storm with DDR, the swipe and tap inputs of the mobile device just can't compete with these unique control methods. That's not to say rhythm games haven't been enjoyable on the iPhone (or other handheld devices), it's just that you really need to design a simple and elegant system to allow the player to interact with the music. Dance Fever is a game that puts you in the shoes of an amateur dancer, and the rise to fame and talent that comes with showing your stuff across a multitude of clubs and dance halls. Sadly though, this experience is marred by a slow gaining experience system and overly complicated core mechanics. Let us explain.

Each new dance location is locked until you level up your character. Luckily each location has a huge amount of dance tracks to choose from (with more unlocking as you continue to fill the master meter of the stage over and over again). Once you pick you song and the game loads, things get intense. There are three main methods of control; swiping moves, tap moves, and collecting golden notes for extra points when they appear. The first problem arises in that while playing the game, you can't rest your eyes on any particular section of the screen. The move inputs will appear on both the right and left sides of the dancer, often being part of the same combo as your eyes are flailing back and forth working out which prompt to follow at what time. Luckily you can swipe anywhere on the screen but when the tap prompt appears, you actually have to tap on the area itself for it to register. As if this wasn't confusing enough, then you have the question mark moves. Often these will come in at the end of a series of swipes. To finish the combo, you have to swipe in the correct direction. This prompt flashes intermittently at the top of the screen, causing your eyes to have to scan yet another section of the user interface. Oh, and when the notes appear at the end of a chain combo or when you hit your frenzy meter, good luck taking time out from the dance moves to actually collect any of them. Really the whole experience leaves you feeling disorientated and annoyed when the song finishes.

And perhaps its because it's so difficult to have a good run, but the experience gained at the end of a song during our play was so minuscule that it would take an extreme dedication to level up and gain access to the new areas available (or you could just buy your experience through in-app purchase, but if the slow trickle of exp is to facilitate the player spending money, then it's another mark against the game).

Which is a real shame because a lot of effort has been put into the dance animations themselves. It's just that you don't have the time while playing to appreciate it. The music contains a fine collection of dance and electronica, but if these music genres are not your thing, then you're definitely not going to enjoy yourself.

If the gameplay had a centralized area for inputs so you could keep your eyes fixed on one part of the screen, it would go a long way to solving the main problems of this game. As it stands, rhythm game and dance music fans might garner some enjoyment out of Dance Fever, but for the casual rhythm game fan, there are much better entries into this genre on offer.

Screenshots

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