SEGA Go Dance is a motion-controlled dancing game for iOS. It's designed to be a novel way to dance and keep fit - but ultimately it's a bit embarrassing.
Dance to the music
SEGA Go Dance attempts to replicate popular motion-capture dance console and arcade games like DanceStar or Just Dance. To its credit, it's the first iOS game I know of that brings this energetic experience to the iPhone and iPad.
The basic concept of SEGA Go Dance is to dance along to the music played by the app. There are just two songs included by default and one background, though more can be unlocked with 'star points', which can be purchased through the app. The two free songs are OK, but the better, more popular tracks are only available through the store. The selection includes hits by Lada Gaga, Robin Thicke and Maroon 5, though overall there's not much variety in the selection.
You can choose to play SEGA Go Dance in single-player or versus mode. The versus mode allows you to play against a random opponent or sync with Facebook and play against your real life buddies. By winning battles you improve your ranking and win battle tickets, which can be redeemed for extra stuff for your avatar.
Dancing in the dark
It doesn't take long to set up SEGA Go Dance and figure out how to use it. Before you start a dance you'll need to calibrate by positioning yourself so you're within the outline drawn for you on screen. The recommended distance is about six to nine feet.
Once you've calibrated SEGA Go Dance you're ready to start dancing, and this is where it gets a bit confusing. There are three different characters that appear on screen as you dance: a stickman in a box that shows what movements you're making, a large animated dancer who girates away to the music, plus a scrolling line of little stick figures that show you which move to adopt.
It all feels a bit complicated and it's not obvious where you're supposed to be looking. Besides, it often appears that SEGA Go Dance isn't really recognizing what you're doing anyway. There were times when I was throwing down moves perfectly and it was registering them as an 'oops' on screen, and other times I stood motionless and was told I was doing 'awesome'.
Moves like Jagger
SEGA Go Dance is well presented, including a bold colorful user interface which is easy to get around. The dancing sequences are well animated and the backgrounds are pretty cool, and we like that you can add new backgrounds.
However, standing so far from the screen, it's hard to make out some of the moves that the stick figure guides are displaying, especially when you start to tire. On an iPhone it's particularly difficult, obviously. Assuming you have the right setup, connect your iOS device up to your TV (via HDMI or AirPlay) for a much better experience.
I don't wanna dance
SEGA Go Dance is an interesting attempt at a dance game for iOS. Ultimately, though, it's a poor gaming experience which feels a bit pointless. This only heightens the embarassment of trying to strut your stuff in front of an inanimate object.
- Free for a limited time as part of Apple's App of the Week promotion.