App Reviewed on: iPad 3
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Dancing games are a genre that one wouldn't naturally attribute to iOS. They are usually confined to stuffy amusement arcades or crowded living rooms during family get-togethers, when people are forced to watch their uncle try to breakdance (again).
SEGA is hoping to change that with GO DANCE, the first motion-capture dancing game for iOS devices. For calibration, players need to stand roughly 6-7 feet away from their device's front-facing camera, with both hands in the air. The motion-capture itself seemed to work fine, though only the top half of the body is monitored, and there are some slight delay issues which definitely threw off my undeniable groove. Unfortunately, the ideal placement of the device is not the typical one provided by most iPad stands, but rather by something like a wall-mount. This means that unless users can somehow adjust their device to this position – which is much easier on the flat edges of an iPhone than the rounded edges of an iPad – the calibration will never be 100% accurate, and the gameplay will suffer for it.
Speaking of gameplay, there is a lot left to be desired in GO DANCE. The dance instructor gave me almost no chance to prepare myself for the next move, and the diagrams were of little to no help at all. When there are mere seconds between each move, a little stick man and some directional arrows are pretty much useless. Rather than being a fun (albeit embarrassing) experience on a home console or arcade machine, I just became overly aware of how stupid I must have looked. Then again, this is an app for use with friends, not dancing by oneself in an empty apartment in the middle of the day.
However, one major issue I did have was with the amount of available content. At the moment of writing there are only 4 songs to choose from, 2 of which must be unlocked. This simply isn't enough for the asking price, especially considering each additional song costs $0.99 (or a shedload of star tokens). SEGA promises that more songs will be added in the future, but it's safe to say they will likely be subject to payment. One feature that would have been a nice addition is action replays to capture those flailing limbs and looks of utter confusion.
Although SEGA should be commended for attempting to break some new boundaries with GO DANCE, the experience isn't refined enough for it to be a success just yet. With some fine-tuning, more content, and an adjustment for traditional iPad stands, GO DANCE could lead the way for future iOS dancing games to follow.