Dance Praise, as you might expect, is a Christian musical game that features a good number of popular Christian artists. There’s actually some really good music in here! This is fortunate, because good music game + bad music = bad music game.
There are 15 tracks from artists like Newsboys, Superchick, Relient K, and others. I recognized about half of the bands, and am actually a pretty big fan of Relient K. There is a nice cover flow selection system for the songs, and the interface for the game is well done. One thing really confused me though. Randomly, while browsing the menus, the music will fade and you will hear a barely audible, low-quality announcer-type voice that offers tips for the game. To say this was extremely lame would be an understatement. But hey, it’s just the menus.
The game copies the popular DDR style of gameplay, which by now doesn’t need much explanation. Unfortunately, the tap detection for arrows isn’t always quit spot on, especially on hard and expert difficulties. Even worse, is the detection for tilting the device. I found this to be the biggest annoyance when playing the Tap Tap games. Fortunately, in those games you can turn it off. Not so in Dance Praise. Another pet peeve is the complete lack of feedback when you miss an arrow. When there are a lot of arrows, it’s near impossible to tell if you hit a note or not (other than knowing your combo is broken). Still, in lower level songs, the game performs fine, and casual players will certainly find some enjoyment.
The visuals in Dance Praise look great at first glance, with a detailed and well-rendered dancer in the background. However, when you start playing the game, the moves are jerky, and you will often see the same 3-second animation repeated over and over, with no transition between moves. It almost looks like a video that has been chopped up and then randomly re-compiled. I also noticed breaks in the graphics at several points, that came in the form of thin black lines. This not something the end-user should ever have to see in a finished game!
You can play in normal or arcade mode, as with standard DDR games. As you okay, you can unlock 3 other character types (all that exhibit the same strange animation quirks as the original). All 15 songs are available at the beginning, as are the difficulties. This is fine, as Dance Praise certainly aims to be a more casual version of music games than most. You can post your scores online, but the game only keeps your best score for each song.
Presentation & Graphics
Good for the most part, with good effects and menus. Detailed dancer models = good. Choppily looped dance animations = bad. Random black line glitches are a big no-no for final versions of any game.
This is good music. There’s no denying that. Fully licensed music was a good decision for Dance Praise. What’s up with the terrible voice in the menus?
Tap detection is inconsistent. Tilt detection is inconsistent. Almost no feedback when you miss an arrow. The gameplay somehow just feels disconnected from the song. Geared towards casual players.
Good selection of songs to choose from, although 15 isn’t a lot as far as music games go. Online scoreboard. Only one high score per song. Nothing other than 3 dancers to unlock. Hard and Expert modes are hard to complete due to game inconsistencies.
Hardcore music/dance game fans should stay far away from Dance Praise. However, if you’re a casual player who enjoys popular Christian music, Dance Praise will entertain you with it’s positive vibes. The technical glitches and issues should not be overlooked, but the game is still enjoyable at lower difficulties in spite of them.