Are you the kind of person that can't listen to a Broadway soundtrack without tapping your foot and bopping out in your chair? Do you want to get some exercise without even realizing you're working? If you're anything like me, I think you'll like this game. Remember the dancers in the Broadway hit, "Fame", dancing their hearts out to that great song? Or the dancers in "All That Jazz" doing that cool tap dancey thing? Well, this isn't quite as complicated as all that but its lots of movement and fairly easy choreography that you follow along with while the Wiimote records your moves. You can play with up to four people. You choose one of four characters that you would like to be at the beginning, when you choose the song. There are 20 songs, some of which are:
* "All That Jazz"
* Luck Be a Lady
* Lullaby of Broadway
* "Bend and Snap"
* "One Night Only"
* "Time Warp"
* "We're in the Money"
* "Let The Sunshine In"
* "You Can't Stop the Beat"
* "Little Shop of Horrors Theme"
* My Favorite Things
* And there's more....
The idea of the game is to follow your chosen dancer, like in a mirror image, with dance, rhythm and arm movements. One of the options is to set it so you see the words to the songs at the top of the screen and they're highlighted, kind of like a bouncing ball but without the ball, so you can sing along. There really isn't any recording of your voice so it's just kind of for your own amusement. When choosing a song, you see a difficulty level and an effort level shown by the number of stars. Several of the songs are at a somewhat slow pace so it's pretty easy to follow along. There are some little icon figures that move along the bottom that show upcoming moves. I found it easier just to watch the dancers. The game does a reasonably good job of recording your movements and you can see with a gauge above your dancer whether you've missed the move "X", got an "OK" or a "Great". It's possible to get combo points by scoring several "Greats" in a row. Your points are totaled up at the end in each category.
Ok, so why did I give this game only 4 stars if I like it so much? Well, I just got the game today and after playing it for a couple hours I'm already scoring pretty well. It's not that I'm really good at this sort of thing, in fact I'd have to say I'm pretty uncoordinated most of the time. It's just that I like games that are more challenging and I want to get a lot of hours of enjoyment out of it. Now I do have to say that I really, REALLY had fun playing with it tonight. I love the music, the graphics are pretty good and I just like the whole idea of the game. But I'm not sure a couple of weeks from now that I'll be challenged enough to be looking forward to playing it as much. I always compare this type of game to We Cheer and We Cheer 2, by Namco. Those are rhythm games as well, kind of on the same principle, but I couldn't even get past the first song for over a week. I played those games for hours and hours trying to open new levels of songs and stages. (I still have fun playing them). With Dance on Broadway, there are 20 songs and as far as I can tell, everything is accessible right away, no additional challenges or hidden things to open. Some of the songs like All That Jazz and Aquarius are very easy to score on because of the way these games record the Wii movements. Now, if you want to follow along with the steps and really look like the dancers on the screen it will be more difficult. But this game, like others of it's type records only your arm movements to score.
So would I buy the game again? Yeah, I love the music and I'm a sucker for rhythm and musical type games. But I wish it had more levels and was more challenging. The challenge for me will be not so much the scoring, which I think I'll probably be able to ace in a fairly short time, but trying to really copy all the footwork and look like the dancers onscreen. And while it's not as energetic as some games like We Cheer, my arms are sore after playing it for a while. I'm not exactly huffing and puffing but it's still good exercise. I just wish Ubisoft would have added a little more interest and more levels to this game. It's good as far as it goes but seems as though it was rushed to market too soon.
After playing with this game for 10 days I found that the motion sensing is sometimes a little quirky. It doesn't always pick up the motions of the Wiimote as quickly as it should. But we've also had some really big fun with this game when we had friends over. After a couple glasses of wine we started up the game, and after watching, had 4 people playing at a time and it was hilarious! Watching a line of "dancers" make their Broadway debut with exaggerated dance movements and expressions was way funny. And trying to outdo each other on the points kept everyone playing for a long time. Because there are a lot of easy dance numbers like the one from "Hair" or "All That Jazz" everyone can score reasonably well after just a few tries. And there are definitely some that are more difficult and energetic. So I have to give the "party potential" 5 stars even though I rated the game 4 stars for the rest.