Review: Russian Dancing MenPosted: November 22, 2011
If you know and love Mr Weebl’s rather unique video shorts, you’ve probably already purchased this game or are downloading it right now. On the other hand, if you hate pointless cartoons singing the praises of Kenya, Narwhals, and Badgers (not snakes), then definitely do not buy this game.
That just about sums up the appeal of Russian Dancing Men, a fantastic rhythm game for iOS (and if the YouTube commenters are influencing the developers at all, there should be an Android version approximately last week.) Based on the captivating Russian Dancing Men video by Weebl’s Stuff, the game follows the adventures of a dedicated soviet dancing troupe as they journey through a perilous world filed with obstacles and various characters from other Weebl cartoons. Look for narwhals, badgers, an amazing horse, and a young man with a disturbing oral crab fetish to help you on your way. Each stage is taken from a different viral cartoon, and more levels will soon be available for purchase if you tire of singing Magical Trevor too many times.
The whole game is designed around a faux-soviet aesthetic, complete with “backwards letter” cyrillic characters, red backgrounds, and prominent stars at every turn. Even the level selection is done in the style of communist propaganda posters, proclaiming the virtues of the industrious crab and the mighty badger fighting the corporate snake. Each level is introduced by a humorous video that carries the plot from one location to another, and the beleaguered dancers grow on you throughout the story.
Gameplay consists of hitting four buttons with precise timing, allowing the dancing men to avoid different obstacles in their path. It sounds easy enough, but it gets fiendishly difficult in the later levels. Hitting an obstacles results in a sad but proud “Do svidaniya” from the lead Russian, and you lose one dancer from the group. After a while your lost dancers will return, but bonus points are awarded based on how many men are part of the group.
Once the obstacles fly in faster than normal humans can react, some of which require two button presses to successfully navigate, you’ll start to hate the tempo changes Weebl throws in and the seemingly endless extended versions of his songs. But that challenge also leads to a high replay value and an addictive quality similar to Angry Birds or Tiny Wings. You’ll definitely get your money’s worth out of this game, as long as you like Weebl’s songs.
For a couple bucks, it’s hard to go wrong with this app if you’re already a fan of the videos it’s based on. If the random humor doesn’t appeal to you, don’t bother. But just in case you need some more convincing, watch the fantastic game trailer – definitely the best promotional video I’ve ever seen. If the game seems too tough, just remember to blame the capitalist pig. After all, so do the birds.