Now that the autumn has decided to descend on us with wind, rain and fog replacing the crazy heatwave of a couple of weeks ago, it's time to start finding ways of letting the girls let off steam without going out to the park. Sophie (and best friend Lily) were therefore really pleased when I pulled out a We Dance game with dance mat for the Wii that we had received to review.
They immediately put the disc in the console and waited patiently (or that should in fact be very impatiently because it took a while !) for it to update, adding lots of new channels to the wii homepage which Sophie was very chuffed about. They plugged in the mat and were ready to start playing. I should make it clear at this point that you're supposed to use the mat in bare feet (no shoes or socks), but this was the day after the glass in the kitchen door just next to the Wii had shattered all over the floor so I was taking no chances (which explains all the blankets and play mats covering every square inch of surrounding floor space !).
The disc has a wide variety of songs that will appeal to all ages, with some newish releases as well as lots of old 70's and 80's classics, including the Village People's YMCA, which strangely enough is 10-year-old Sophie's favourite !
You can choose between three levels - easy, which only uses the hand movements tracked by the Wii Remote; medium, which only uses the dance mat; or hard which uses a combination of both. It's actually really difficult trying to follow the dance routine on screen while coordinating your hands and feet - I said to Sophie that it reminded me of trying to pat your head while rubbing your stomach ! - so it's near on impossible to get a perfect score, which can be irritating.
Sophie had great fun leaping about trying to mimic the moves and was quite puffed out by the time she'd finished playing which shows that it's a good way of burning off excess energy and calories ! She also realised that if you use the "easy" mode, you don't have to worry too much about doing it all properly - just waving the remote around in the air at the right time will get you points !
6-year-old Juliette joined in trying out the warm up exercises but got discouraged when she couldn't follow the moves properly on the dance mat.
It won't suddenly turn you into a great dancer, teach you the latest choreography from your fave singers or give you a realistic evaluation of how well you really dance but the girls have been having a lot of fun all the same. It's a very energetic game (if you use the dance mat) so it's ideal for encouraging kids (or grown-ups !) to get off their bums and get active. There are a couple of mini games too - running on the spot then striking a pose on the mat and jumping over barriers - which are just as much fun as the game in itself !
star rating : 3.5/5
RRP : £29.99
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