It’s a Just Dance kinda week around here, and really that’s ok – because I am so freakin’ stressed out by my never ending to-do list that it was awesome to let it all go and just be crazy silly for a few hours.
My 8 year old Miss A has been enjoying UbiSoft’s line of Just Dance games, as you can see in my recent post about JD3, so when I had the chance to get in on the action and test out the new Just Dance Abba, I was all over it.
In case you noticed: for a little bit of added fabbalousness, I decided to edit all photos for this post using the “Seventies” Action free from Pioneer Woman. Ah, the 70’s. I say that like I know so much about the decade, even though I was born in the latter half of it (and speaking of Pioneer Woman, she is a huge fan of the Just Dance game series too – check out her recent post!).
I honestly didn’t know much about Abba until I fell in love with several of their songs in a round-about way. In 1992 Erasure released Abba-Esque, a brief Abba tribute album that included songs like S.O.S. and my fav: Take A Chance on Me. That was in high school…and it wasn’t until years later that I thought about Abba again – when the Mama Mia movie was released and a bunch of my mama friends and I planned a night out to see the movie and drink a margarita (or two) after. We had so much fun that night, and much of our enjoyment came from the songs’ unique sense of sincerity and sensationalism that the Seventies Quartet from Sweden served up in spades. (Have I mentioned my weakness for alliteration?)
Playing the Just Dance Abba game was a chance to re-visit that fun again…so another night for my mama friends was planned – this time instead of a night OUT, we had a night IN. To set the scene for the party a few non-essential essentials were called for:
– Lighting: Nothing says get ready to get your groove on than a disco ball!
– Food: Coming up with what to serve was simple: fondue, of course – the quintessential dish of that cheesy decade. Now, I know I have a fondue set handed down to me somewhere in my house, but Lord knows where it is! Which is why I was delighted to discover this yummy “cheat” from Trader Joe’s (you could heat it up in a fondue dish, or…you could just microwave it…guess which option I chose?)
Fashion: What to wear to an Abba Dance party? Well, if you are a brave soul, you may opt for one of the more outrageous styles the group was known for (unitard, anyone?) but for me, I kept it simple and chose a Maxi-dress right out my closet (no hot pants for me, thank you very much). If you need some fashion ideas, Fashion Era has a great archive of posts about the styles of the 70’s.
As for the rest…the Abba Just Dance game pretty much took care of it all! It provided the tunes and the activities to keep the party rolling. I never realized just how MANY songs Abba had in their discography! Within an hour, I had discovered some new (well, new to me) songs to add to my fav list. The dance I enjoyed “performing” most, (I think – it may change the more I play) was As Good As New. The choreography in that one was really fun.
About the dance choreography in Just Dance Abba – it is not like the traditional JD1-2-3 games. Most of the Abba dance routines are slower paced and while JD3 can easily leave you sweating by the end of the first song, you won’t find that to be the case with JDAbba…not unless you sweat from laughing a lot. And laugh you will – a few of the moves are so zany and over-the-top that all you can do is be bold and embrace you inner Dancing Queen, no matter what she may do.
Seeing as you will probably be eating fondue and drinking Mama-ritas, perhaps high energy dancing isn’t the best idea anyway. Maybe you had a cocktail too many and dancing is beyond you? Then it’s time to switch to the karaoke option! A microphone is not included with the game, but I happened to have a microphone for my Wii already (
stole borrowed it from my daughter’s Sing It game) so we were all set to get our Meryl Streep on and crank out some tunes. The karaoke option is purely for entertainment, and unlike other singing games, it does not rate your singing ability or award you points based on pitch, accuracy, etc. (Probably a good thing at this point in the party).
Don’t have a kid in your house to steal from? Microphones for the Wii run about $20 on Amazon…if I needed to get another mic, I’d probably look for a deal on a game that included one (so I felt like I was getting more for my money, money, money…did you catch that song reference?)
Speaking of kids – my 3 year old absolutely adores this game! All week long she has been singing Abba tunes, and she actually scores pretty well while dancing (well, she does almost as well as I do, so that may say more about my level of ability than hers).
Now, what could be done to make this game even better? Well, one of my friends was really bothered by the lack of defined facial features on the animated dancers.
There is a fuzzy outline of eyes and a mouth, but I think the lack of clear definition kind of freaked her out. I’m not sure if the idea was to create a sort of “blank slate” so you could imagine yourself in the place of the on-screen dancer, but I never imagined myself wearing a t-shirt with a bedazzled cat on it as a dress, so it really doesn’t work anyway. Also, in the karaoke option, sometimes the color choices of words and backgrounds made it very hard to follow the lyrics. These are minor details though, and did not detract from the fun!
And fun really is the name of the game, and you are guaranteed to have a great time…maybe even as much fun as the unlikely duo featured below:
If you want to gather your own group of dancing queens together for a fun night IN, pick up a copy of Just Dance Abba…just don’t blame me if you suddenly find yourself wanting to wear a glittery unitard.