From Ubisoft, the creators of the ultra-popular Just Dance series, comes ABBA – You Can Dance for Wii. This dance game is not all that dissimilar to previous Just Dance games. If you enjoy that series, and happen to have a taste for the music of ABBA, this should be a ball. Thankfully it is significantly better designed than Ubisoft’s dreadful Michael Jackson – The Experience. The actual dancing, where you hold the Wii remote in one hand and attempt to copy the onscreen moves, functions almost exactly the same. But whereas the Jackson-themed game had nary a bell or whistle in sight (at least not with the Wii version), ABBA has a few cool extra features that will tickle fans for sure.
I still think the Wii provides a seriously flawed dancing experience, a complaint consistent with other Just Dance-style games. You only have to move the remote around to score well. In fact, I found that even swinging my arm around randomly while holding the remote resulted in “okay” scores (with an occasionally “perfect”). It’s great exercise for whichever arm you hold the remote with. But there is no way for the game to score whatever moves you attempt with the rest of your body
Personally I don’t care for other people seeing me flail around while playing these games. But if you don’t mind looking silly, up to four people can participate in ABBA at once. I imagine this might be preferable actually, for people less inclined to isolationism than myself.
It should go without saying that a tolerance for ABBA’s music is a prerequisite for enjoying the game. Being a hardcore fan will enhance the experience even more. What I liked about the game was the mini-musical mode. You can play through songs at random if you want, with a selection including all of ABBA’s biggest hits. But unlike the earlier Michael Jackson game that only offered that song-by-song mode, this one has a more immersive way to enjoy the theme.
With the mini-musical mode, you participate in the context of a loose narrative structure. Video clips of the band as well as factoids are incorporated as a way to give fans a little more than just dancing. Even more of a bonus is the karaoke mode. You will need to purchase your own USB microphone, as there is not one included with ABBA – You Can Dance. As long as you have one, you can sing along with the music – the lyrics are included on screen to help you out.
With pop classics like “Mamma Mia,” “Dancing Queen,” “Take a Chance on Me,” and 23 others, ABBA – You Can Dance is a fan-pleasing dance game that, thankfully, is reasonably priced. I honestly can’t imagine this being a game that even the hardest-core ABBA fans will throw on time and time again, as these Just Dance-style games are kind of a novelty when all is said and done; luckily this one won’t break the bank.
ABBA – You Can Dance is rated E10+ (Everyone 10 and older) by the ESRB for Mild Lyrics and Tobacco Reference.