The team from Rolecule is back with a brand new game for your Apple TV, Dance Party TV. From the developers that brought you Motion Tennis in 2013, Dance Party TV is another iPhone game that uses AirPlay – and wizardry – to display a completely different game interface on your Apple TV. And as before, your iPhone and your motion is the controller.
I've spent a little time throwing down some moves with it – albeit, very poorly – and you know what? It's really good.
Before you're able to get your groove on you'll need to set up AirPlay mirroring on your iPhone. The game walks you through the process if you've never done it before, or you can read more about it here. And then the clever part begins.
As with Motion Tennis before it, Dance Party TV broadcasts a completely different game interface to the TV to that which you see on the iPhone. The iPhone acts purely as the controller to the experience, so you use it to choose the game modes you want to play and generally navigate the game. You also use it as the motion controller when you're doing your thing.
You've got a few different modes to choose from which include a party mode, a single player mode and a rather difficult sounding blindfold mode. Party is exactly as you might imagine, it's where you and your friends get together – perhaps with some beverages – and dance away as a group. You can either pass off a single iPhone between each other or connect up a bunch of them. Since it's just me, myself and I, there was no way to try this out here, but if it works as well as the single player modes then it'll be just fine.
Playing the game is super simple, yet mastering it is far from it – or at least it is if you're blessed with two left feet and no rhythm, like I am. You need to mimic the moves on the screen as if you were looking in a mirror. You can either follow the on screen dancer for guidance or you can use the directional figures down at the bottom. Sure, you could probably score big by sitting on the sofa moving your hand about – as was always the case with the Nintendo Wii – but there's absolutely no fun in that.
Motion tracking seems to be pretty accurate, and while I'm no dancer at no point did I feel that the game had misinterpreted my moves. At the end of the dance you get a score and even a basic reading of how many calories you should have burned throughout. It doesn't take long to work up a sweat, really. It's even integrated with Game Center and you can share/show off your scores to your social media buddies.
Dance Party TV is truly an excellent game. It's very nicely designed and superbly executed, and leaves you wondering why more game developers haven't gone down a similar path yet. Any criticisms? A couple. There's not much content available out of the box in the game with only two songs and the Online game mode still to arrive in a future update. Additional songs are available via in-app purchase, which isn't so bad when you consider the game itself is a free download.
If you've got an Apple TV, then you should definitely check it out. It's a great example of what can be done with the hardware and software platforms we have available today, and it's enormous fun to boot. Grab it now from the App Store at the link below, and also be sure the watch the gameplay trailer. If you decide to step into your dancing shoes, be sure to jive into the comments below and let us know what you think to it!