Dance Battle Audition • Page 2

Slick moves - and staying out of jail.

Freshly Groomed

For children and casual players, though, it's a fairly cheap game to dip into - and as for the gameplay itself, it's relatively untaxing but still entertaining. For the most part it's a Simon Says affair, requiring that you tap the keys shown on screen in time with the beat of the music - exactly what you'd expect from rhythm action.

There's some additional depth here, certainly. The game gradually levels up in difficulty, creating longer and longer strings of keys to tap out in order to pull of increasingly tough moves, and there are various "finishing moves" which you can attempt if you hit enough perfectly timed keys.

There are also tons of different multiplayer modes, from freestyle battles to choreographed team efforts, right through to the vaguely disturbing "couple mode" which allows couples who are perfectly in sync to hug, kiss and eventually, marry. In the game. We'd make a joke here about a Hot Coffee stage to perfectly sync the consummation, but frankly even we're a bit creeped out by that idea.

By this stage, of course, you've probably decided that Audition isn't for you - but may well be for your daughter, younger sister, or an elderly relative who has gone through second childhood and is now at the difficult second puberty stage. On the other hand, if you're still reading, you're over 16 and you're thinking the whole affair sounds kind of fun... Well, you aren't wrong. But it's still not for you.

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B-Boy Battles work by getting one team to set up a series of moves, and challenging the next team to replicate them perfectly.

I discovered this very quickly when I created an honest identity. I had a male avatar (admittedly better dressed than I could ever hope for - Korean virtual fashion won't even allow a pillock like me to mess it up too badly), and I was up front with everyone about being a 26 year old man. My room - the lobby where you create challenges and wait for people to join - was about as popular a dance spot as a gay bar in Tehran.

Drastic action was needed. In desperation, I created a new profile. Female! Born in the nineties! (Yes, I nearly fell over when I realised that there are 16 year olds now who were born in the nineties.) Likes Justin Timberlake and ice cream, doesn't like school and homework! Communicates mostly through the means of smileys and the abbreviations "lol" and "omg"! An all-singing, all-dancing, teen movie cliche machine!

The twinkle-toed debutantes poured in. To my horror, most of the cliches were true; I ingratiated myself into this strange dancing society by means mostly of calling Justin Timberlake "hawt" and complaining about teachers who give "sooooooooo" much homework. We danced the afternoon away, my new bosom friends and I - although the fact that I was masquerading as a teenage girl didn't really ease the pain of being thoroughly whupped by a number of real teenage girls at higher levels in the challenges.

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This is a bit like that 'Any Dream Will Do' show on the BBC, except that Audition's contestants look more realistic.

Yes, I know that this is all faintly creepy. In fact, I'm even aware that it's not so much "faintly" creepy as "really" creepy, but these are the sacrifices, dear reader, which we intrepid Eurogamer writers are willing to make to bring you the freshest gaming information. Even if it involves delving deep into the uncharted society of teenage girls, and desperately looking up dreadful boybands on Wikipedia to avoid being caught out.

And my conclusion, at the end of this intrepid adventure? (I did narrate some of it to myself in my best David Attenborough voice, which helped quite a lot.)

Audition isn't a game most EG readers are ever going to want to glance at - but you've probably worked that out for yourself by now. But for teenagers - be they girls, or boys who like playing with dolls a bit too much, but who are you to question eh - it's a startlingly addictive and well-composed slice of online entertainment.

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'First one to blink loses!' turned out to be an unpopular game-mode, especially since we just made it up in a desperate attempt to turn this into a funny caption.

Unlike MySpace or Bebo, or online curiosities such as Habbo Hotel, it's a genuine online game with a progression system and rewards for improving your skills - and it has the significant bonus of being free to download and play, and working even on creaky old PCs. There's definitely scope for becoming someone's favourite uncle / dad / brother / godfather / slightly odd-smelling local tramp by recommending this.

And as for me? I deleted the logs, scrubbed myself all over with wire wool, and played Bioshock for about eight hours. The mental scars remain, but the evidence is gone - so it'll be our secret, okay?

You can download the Dance Battle Audition client from goaudition.co.uk. Daily Mail rent-a-crowd with burning torches and pitchforks sold separately.

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