PREVIEW: ABBA: You Can Dance [Wii]

Ladies, listen up. I hate to get all gender-specific in these things, but – really – this is an all-dancing, all-singing game you’re going to enjoy far more than most blokes. To make it easy, I have four letters for you. ABBA.

…if you’re still with us, ABBA: You Can Dance is a bit of a gem. Not for everybody, Ubisoft admits the tribute to the best-selling Swedish quartet is really a bit of a “girls’ night in” indulgence, rather than something you’ll play with the kids or the mates over for a Sunday afternoon barbecue after the footy.

But, with a glass or two of bubbly, and a few bites of chocolate, this could be the Next Big Thing.

It’s not the first time ABBA has appeared in a video game – Sony picked up the Swedes back in 2008 with the release of SingStar ABBA, but that stuck simply to the songs. Now, Ubisoft have taken the concept one step further – literally – incorporating dance moves into each of the 25 tunes.

That’s right: While traditional singing games like SingStar and Lips can be performed quite happily slouching on a beanbag, ABBA: You Can Dance incorporates a dancing element, too. That means you’ll be dancing around your living room – and if you do it with all the enthusiasm Agneta, Björn, Benny and Anni-Frid deserve, you’ll get quite the work-out by the end. Sneaky exercise! The best kind!

Anyway. Back to the game itself. You’ll need a Nintendo Wii and a little room to move – the game features 25 songs, each one paired with an appropriate environment and a toe-tappin’ professionally choreographed dance routine. Bit of trivia for you: The Waterloo segment is inspired by the band’s original appearance at Eurovision!

Other songs featured include Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!, Knowing Me, Knowing You, Money, Money, Money, S.O.S., Take A Chance On Me, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, Super Trouper, and – of course – Dancing Queen. Each track is matched with a dancing mode for solo, duet or quartet, with a vocal sing-along to match.

If you’d like something with a little more “plot” (and we use the term loosely), ABBA: You Can Dance also features a mini-musical mode, which means you – and your friends – can act out the key roles in a love story created by stringing together a few of ABBA’s classic hits. It’s like a teeny version of Mamma Mia, kind of.

[img_big]center,8508,2011-11-06/ABBA_Image_Screenshot_Waterloo.jpg,ABBA: You Can Dance[/img_big]

So. How does it all work? While you’re singing and dancing, you’re also watching a quartet of colourful silhouettes doing the same thing on your screen. Clutching your Wii-mote, it’s a simple matter of copying the moves you’re watching! The console records where your arms end up and gives you a score dependent on how close you are to the pre-programmed choreography.

Now, I know you might not have danced since ABBA were performing live, but don’t worry. There are varying difficulty levels, so you can start out on something gentle and then warm up to a more all-out dance-off.

Obviously, while this is an awesome game with friends, and it really is a case of “the more the merrier”, it’s worth noting that ABBA: You Can Dance doesn’t need multiple players to be a bit of fun. Load it up when you’ve got a few free moments and shimmy around your loungeroom to Fernando – dance like nobody’s watching!

ABBA: You Can Dance is released exclusively for Nintendo Wii on November 24th.

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