Russian Dancing Men iPad Review
For whatever reason, video game companies have decided to pick on Russia. Choose a random military themed first person shooter (Modern, cough, Warfare 3), and the odds of it featuring some Russian plot to destroy the U.S. are quite good.
Not sure why the West chose to capitalize on the old Cold War, and we've grown a bit weary fearing "the red menace". Instead, we'd much rather cut a rug in the iPhone and iPad release, Russian Dancing Men.
Inspired by the humorous cartoons and songs from the popular Internet sensation, Weebl's Stuff, this quirky rhythm based title tests your pattern recognition skills as you attempt to guide a group of high stepping Russians through ten (if you count the tutorial) over the top levels, peppered with short cut scenes that move the story along.
The concept is relatively easy to grasp. Approach a tree stump, and you tap the raised obstacle button. Approach a loop (ala Sonic the Hedgehog), and you press the loop button. See a hole? Hit the pit button. Finally, the spike button instructs the happy Russians to leap (more like torpedo) across, we'll give you one guess, spikes.
Simple, right? Heck no. This game is ridiculously tough. Before long, you'll need to press buttons, one after the other, with little time to breathe. In fact, some stages force you to press two at the same time.
Screw up, and you lose a dancing man, who gets automatically replaced by the dude behind him. Lose them all, and it's game over.
Even on the simplest difficultly, Russian Dancing Men packs a huge challenge. It's the type of rhythm game where one false move results in failure. You need to work through the missteps and get back on point quickly.
At least the story and catchy tunes make restarting less painful. After all, who can hate a game with a stage titled, "Be Like Industrious Crab?"
More importantly, the music (the true star of the game) is a riot, both well written and catchy. You'll hum at least one track for days.
Granted, you need to enjoy Weebl's brand of humor to dig Russian Dancing Men. If you meet that criteria, prepare to enjoy one of the most off the wall music games since the original PaRappa the Rapper.
Requirements: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. Requires iOS 4.0 or later.
What's Hot: Excellent presentation, catchy music, ten stages of Russian dancing goodness, universal.
What's Not: Extremely difficult.