Dancing games seem a natural fit for the motion-friendly Wii, and Boogie is the first game to take the dance floor and give it a go. The game is not without its charms, but like many other Wii games in practice it’s not quite as much fun as you’d think it would be.
You’ll know that Boogie is a bit different than other Wii games when you open its oversized box and find a microphone inside. The microphone plugs into one of the USB ports on the back of the Wii (most gamers probably forgot that they’re back there) and lets you test out your singing skills in the game’s karaoke sessions.
When you play the game, either in the story mode or just to dance to or sing one of the songs, you select from five quirky characters which count three aliens among their number. There’s not all that much to the story mode; you play through a series of songs with each character, with odd static cutscenes in between that try to tie the whole thing together as some sort of intergalactic talent search. You’ll breeze through this mode once to unlock some songs and then probably never revisit it.
In fact, you’ll breeze through everything the game has to offer without much trouble at all. Boogie is a pretty simple game and there’s not much challenge to it. The Wii remote clacks with the beat of the current song like a handheld metronome and your job is to tap or swing the controller in time with that beat. Your character’s moves on the screen will reflect your actions in that if you’re swinging the remote right your character will perform a move to the right. Even though you can switch dance styles with the A button, you’re constrained to the four basic directions of movement with the remote, so there’s not all that much dance variety in the game. As you hit the beat you’ll fill a turbo meter that can be used to launch some special moves if you repeat the sequence of remote directions shown on the screen. This is the most challenging aspect of the game, primarily because the game has a little difficulty detecting upward motion on the remote. If you have a nunchuck controller you can use that to move around the stage and move your character’s mouth to lip-synch with the music. Since you’re basically just tapping the remote, there’s no need to dance while playing the game. You can just kick back on the couch with one hand in a bowl of popcorn and still crank out the high scores.
The game’s karaoke play is just as easy as the dancing. As the song plays you’ll see the lyrics along the bottom of the screen and a series of bars will scroll across the screen. The bars represent the timing and pitch of the singing and you need to match it as closely as possible. However, the game is very forgiving and it is relatively easy to score a lot of points with some relatively atrocious singing. In fact, you don’t even have to sing – you can hum, whistle, scream, or whatever you’d like, just as long as the mike picks up the noise and you were relatively in synch with the music.
The ease of play and cute alien characters make Boogie seem more suited to younger kids, but that’s not necessarily the case. First of all, the game is rated E10+ so it’s not recommended for kids who still measure their ages with a single digit. Then there is the inclusion of a few songs that are pretty questionable for kids. Six year old girls just plain shouldn’t be dancing and singing along to “Don’t Cha” or “Milkshake”. If it weren’t for a few questionable tracks, the game would be perfect for the under ten set. Young gamers would especially enjoy the game’s easy to use video editor that lets you create music videos from your performances.
Boogie is the type of game that would make a good rental for an evening when you’re entertaining some guests who aren’t gamers. You can have some fun while loosening things up a bit before they realize that it’s really a controller tapping game instead of a dance game. You probably don’t want to add it to your permanent collection, though; it’s just too simple and easy to provide the challenge necessary to keep you coming back for more.
In The End, This Game Hath Been Rated: 65%. Boogie’s biggest failing is that it won’t keep you dancing for long.