With three mainline Just Dance games under its belt, Ubisoft has quickly become the king of dance games on Nintendo’s motion-controlled system. Millions upon millions of gamers around the world have been jiving around their living rooms to all manner of songs. Now, though, after the success of Michael Jackson: The Experience, it is the turn of classic Swedish group ABBA in the aptly titled ABBA: You Can Dance. Will you have the time of your life, though?
Some people love ABBA, some people loathe them. Rather like other big name artists such as Queen, Elvis Presley, The Beatles…and Spice Girls, the quartet of Agnetha, Björn, Benny, and Anni-Frid, are one of those bands that are generally loved by the masses, yet despised by certain sectors. Steadfast detesters, though, will be lying only to themselves if they refuse to tap their feet to infectious tunes like Mamma-Mia, Voulez-Vous, Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! and even Dancing Queen. 26 of the group’s songs are included in ABBA: You Can Dance, spanning their surprisingly short ten year career, and all in digitally remastered form, complete with music videos, live concert footage and some classic photographs from their illustrious past.
The reviews of Just Dance 3 and Michael Jackson: The Experience cover the basics of the motion-controlled gameplay, where on-screen actions must be mimicked in a timely fashion by the player’s movement of the Wii Remote, with score totals being based upon how accurately the choreographed dancing was followed. However, the development outfit has thrown in some impressive extra content that previous games failed to feature; something that ultimately held them back. This time, rather than merely having the lyrics showing for people to sing along to should they desire, there is now USB microphone compatibility for proper in-game singing for two players, whilst the other two continue to dance as normal. Whilst there is no scoring involved, it is certainly a step in the right direction.
Thankfully the basic core of the Just Dance series has not really started to grow as thin as the Guitar Hero franchise’s button-pressing did over the years, so for now the refreshed playlist will not only appeal to die-hard ABBA fans looking to dance the night away, but also to fans of previous Ubisoft releases on Wii who are looking for something a little bit different from the usual menagerie of pop, dance and R ’n’ B songs found in games of this ilk. With an added story mode, where you get involved in a mini-musical featuring tunes from the same selection as the main game -- basically the same as the standard dance-a-thon, but with an attempted hook -- it goes to show the staff behind ABBA: You Can Dance has tried to freshen up this new release to a degree. It may not quite be on the same par as Just Dance 3, but viewing it like a special edition song pack for the series, released at a budget price-point, this is definitely a winner in every way.
The usual Just Dance ‘follow the on-screen movements’ mechanic returns in full force, allowing for Dancing Queens everywhere to easily strut their stuff.
Glamorous, glitzy and thoroughly shiny through and through, with some brilliant choreography, clear dance instructions and even original video footage.
26 of ABBA’s greatest hits at a budget price makes for a very pleasing aural treat.
With a wide selection of classic hits, original videos and other extras included, the only drawback is the lack of online downloads for a few extra songs.
ABBA: You Can Dance is a thoroughly entertaining package for both long-term fans of the Swedish pop sensation and those who simply love jiving along to infectious tunes. Anyone who became totally enamoured with the Just Dance series and wanted to look into a different type of song selection should certainly give this a whirl. Fantastic fun with three friends along for the ride.