We admit, we were dubious when we purchased Saturday Night Fever: Dance! A dance game? For our iDevice? Would it be accelerometer controlled? What if they tried to make a story out of it? The horror! Our fears, though, were quickly alleviated when we booted it up. You see, SNF’s only related to the Travolta movie in that one of the characters has a white leisure suit on, and you dance to disco. Saturday Night Fever: Dance! is a delightfully fun rhythm game, but it just doesn’t have enough songs to be worth the cash.
Your screen is a dance floor, filled by your character and a disco ball and a mirrored floor. The character design is a little strange and of lower quality than we expected, and you only have two dancers to choose from. The controls are strictly touch-based. To bust moves and score points, you hit little circles at the exact moment when a collapsing ring hits them, or slide them around pathways on the screen; the gameplay is clearly based on Elite Beat Agents for the Nintendo DS. It’s a bit tough to describe, but there’s a brief tutorial and you get up to speed very quickly.
SNF took up pleasantly by surprise when we got on the floor and started strutting our stuff. We jammed to a classic disco hit (Shake Your Groove Thing, if you must know) and started tapping along with the rhythm. Soon, we found the sweet spot between the song’s beat and the game’s touch pads, and we were dancing our buns off. And really, that’s all there is to it. Sure, you’re scored on your performance. You can see your accuracy and percentage from each round, and the game saves your best round for bragging purposes. You can also play a multiplayer version, either by passing the game around or over Wi-Fi. But that’s all icing on the cake. See, though the menus are an assault on your eyes and there’s not enough options or gameplay modes (how about a competition mode?), playing the game is great fun.
We just wish we could play more. There are only four songs to choose from–seriously, that’s all. The game cheats by throwing a longer version on for two of them and calling it “extended,” but it’s not nearly enough. A complete game session, from tutorial to mastery, will take you less than an hour or two. At $4.99, we expect a broader scope of songs to dance to, given that the Tap Tap games give you more than twice the tunes for the same price, and Guitar Rock Tour gives you 17 for a buck more. So, here’s hoping SNF gets a software update with some new songs, and fast. Until then, we’ll advise all the but the most dance-happy iDevice gamers to roll with one of those over games.