World Dance is one of the most unique and enjoyable puzzle games I have ever come across. In addition to offering fun and innovative gameplay, the game also succeeds as a rare "edutainment" title that teaches you about different world cultures. |
Your goal in World Dance is to choreograph a dancer's moves on the isometric playing board in order to collect a required number of cultural items within the allotted time. In each level (i.e. each "dance floor"), you must choose one of twelve steps during each turn that will lead your dancer to the required cultural items that are scattered on the floor. You can also move the dancer to pick up special "gift boxes" that contain bonus items that add extra time to the game clock, extra points to your total score, extra lives, and more. Your overall goal is to "unlock" all seven countries and new entries to the Journal of the World database, an excellent in-game encyclopedia that includes a wealth of information about the locations featured and their people and culture. These are: Egypt, France, Senegal, Hawaii, China, Mexico and Ireland, each featuring a unique dancer, music, cultural items, and of course dance moves (the belly dance and cancan are especially very cool to watch ;)).
In addition to the basic gameplay, there are also many intricacies in World Dance that make the game a lot more fun and challenging. For example, you must avoid bumping into walls (which will cost you a life) and penalty items such as a tornado that will cause items to disappear. The graphics are also top-notch: more than eighty beautifully choreographed dance sequences are rendered from data recorded using motion-capture techniques. The user interface is alsy very easy to use, and the music is outstanding.
With a very original premise and near-flawless execution, World Dance is a must-have for anyone who enjoys abstract brainteasers or unique puzzle games. It's even educational to boot – something you can't say for a lot of self-proclaimed "edutainment games" these days. Well worth the $30 price tag, and a deserved finalist in the 4th Annual Independent Games Festival (archived snapshot but the site is still active). Two thumbs up, way up!
Reviewed by: Underdogs