As of November 2012, I run music webzine A Lonely Ghost Burning.

It's all about short, positive reviews with no genre restrictions. Might be worth a try if you you like your music to feature any or all of the following characteristics;

- Distinctive Vocals

- Palpable Atmosphere

- Believable Emotion

I also write occasionally for the excellent Alternative Magazine Online and keep a far less excellent blog, Cherry Faced Fool.

Thursday, 23 April 2009

Dance 'Til You Drop!

Now for something completely different, a parody game made by Shane (ProgZmax) Stevens.

Before I go any further I'm afraid I do feel a compulsive need to say..."Oh Hello Sailor!"...And with that out the way, lets move on, swiftly if possible...


In Dance 'Til You Drop, the player assumes the role of ambiguously/undoubtedly gay aerobics guru Richard Simmons, whom with money running out, finds himself in a position where it is essential for his latest project to be a success. An unknown reviewer is coming to his studio and Richard must do his best to impress said person.

The story didn't do it for me, although to be fair that isn't what this game is about, and I did find it fairly interesting trying to guess who the undercover reviewer really was.


The game's strong point however is it's humour. I was laughing before the game had even started, with a start menu screen which was pretty indicative of what was to come. I was equally amused by the game itself with some really funny moments on offer.

Be warned though, if you're easily offended you should probably steer clear of this one - depending on what you're offended by of course. Most of the humour is based around the campness of the lead character, and to a lesser extent at a rather umm...stout client. I don't believe there is anything truly offensive, but it might be something to be wary of depending on your disposition.

As for the graphics, well they are very much of a retro nature and perfectly suit the 1980s setting of the game. And with this being a ProgZmaz game, the character sprites do of course look great, whilst the animation is also mightily impressive with certain animations in particular really helping to add to the humorous atmosphere. Towards the end of the game I did however start to grow a little tired of the long aerobic and dancing cut-scenes and there could perhaps have been a little more variety to them. It is difficult to criticise this aspect of the game though as there is a lot of very good animation already included.

Another aspect of the game which really adds to the well put together 80's atmosphere is the sound. I played the full soundtrack version of the game which includes some very well known camp tunes for your listening pleasure. There is also a stereo that Richard can use to change the background music which is a nice touch. Oh, and it is very important that you click on the smiley face on the GUI - honestly, it's essential...

One other point of note is that I felt the immersion of the game was slightly spoiled by a certain solution to a situation in the game which didn't feel in keeping with the fun fatmosphere (ha, that was a genuine typo believe it or not!) of the game.


As for the puzzles, there isn't really a whole lot of them. The game reminded me a little of what I've experienced thus far from the new Sam & Max titles, where the most fun is to be had by randomly trying things and talking to other characters to see what hidden jokes and quips are on offer. Some of the puzzles require talking to the clients anyway, whilst some are inventory based and pixel hunt orientated. There is also a safe combination puzzle which seemed quite unfair and I should imagine most players (like I did) will need to consult a walkthru to get beyond this.

An added element to the gameplay is that the player's choice of action or conversation response will affect a score given to them at the end of the game and thus affect whether the undercover reviewer recommends your new project. It is usually clear as to when you need to make a choice, just the one part where this maybe isn't the case.

I should also mention that the inventory GUI is a little small and quite fiddly. Although I did get used to it, I do think it could have been better implemented.


I'm not usually a fan of parody games with little story, however rather strangely I did quite enjoy Dance Till you Drop. If you're looking for a deep engaging game then look elsewhere, but if you just want an hour of humorous entertainment then it might just be worth giving this one a go. At the very least it's different to anything else out there, well, that I've played anyway! It won't be everyone's cup of tea - but is certainly not without appeal.

Download the game for free;

Dance 'Til You Drop

1 comment:

  1. Now, that's a sneaky peek. I recall playing the game long time ago. It's not the best Progz has made, but it's good enough, I admit.