Family Fun: Wii Country Dance

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I couldn’t resist. I had to do the Achy Breaky Dance.

When I received a review copy of Wii Country Dance by GameMill, I was looking forward to learning some steps and listening to good songs by Sugarland and Mary Chapin Carpenter. I wasn’t expecting Billy Ray Cyrus’ much maligned dance hit.

However, once I discovered it was one of the songs in the game, I had to try it.

The verdict: fun but surprisingly hard, though it’s rated at beginner level.

Screenshot from Wii Country Dance

In all, I tried out a number of songs and dances on Country Dance with my eleven-year-old son. The level of fun was definitely proportional to how much we liked the song. As a casual country fan, I was worried that there wouldn’t be much beyond “I Feel Lucky,” “Life is a Highway” and “Stuck on You,” that I would enjoy. I was wrong, as my son and I had fun with just about every song, especially since the dances were different with each song.

I was pleasantly surprised to find Johnny Cash’s “Ring of Fire,” along with a suitable dance. “Boot Scootin’ Boogie” didn’t quite teach me how to boogie, country-style, but I suspect with a little more practice, I could get competent at it. However, I managed to beat my son and that hardly ever happens when we play video games, so that was a plus for me.

There is no dance mat needed for the game. All you do is hold the Wii controller in one hand and mimic the movements of the dancer on the screen. Thus, if you have two left feet like me, it’s still possible to score high if you do well with the arm movements. The graphics are fairly basic, as the male and female dancers are more akin to silhouettes and don’t have their faces filled in. It wasn’t a drawback for us, as we were busy watching the hands and legs. Some of the dances have spin movements. I didn’t look exactly graceful doing those but it was definitely a good excuse to be silly with my son.

If you truly hate country music, this may not be the dance game for you but most of the songs in the game were crossover hits or a blend of pop and country so even the most casual fans will recognize some of the tunes. I would bet that many older people would have a good time with this as well, even if they don’t usually go near video games, because it’s so simple to play. There’s no intimidating buttons to push, all they have to do is hold the remote.

It’s definitely something I’d like to try at our next family gathering. My mom would love it.

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