I actually looked forward to this game. I anticipated it. I waited for it. If there was a line, I was waiting in line for it. After having all these high expectations (afterall, it’s the first and only game based on one of my favorite movies) I must say that I’m sorely disappointed. It’s like opening a box of really nice looking chocolates only to find that they’re all cherry creams.

Dirty Dancing is very much like a box of assorted chocolates. Technically. In a box of assorted chocolates, you get the caramel crunch and the mint creams; occasionally you’ll run into an undesirable “nougat” or “orange cream.” This is a game of mini-games – 10, to be exact, with one extra one to spend all your points on to decorate. Unfortunately, these mini-games range from “rather interesting” to “dreadfully boring” as well as “almost unplayable.” I’m going to go through each of these in turn.

Breakfast Buffet
Easily the best of the bunch. It’s a drag-3 in a hexagonal format, not unlike Cindy’s Sundaes. Instead of the usual match-3 in a line, Breakfast Buffet allows you to match anything that touches, which makes the game a bit easier. When a match is made, the progress bar on the left increases. When it fills up, you finish the level.

The introduction of flies, desserts and rotting plates makes it a bit more interesting. When you match desserts, you gain “shuffle plates” and you can hold 3 of these at a time. Clicking on them shuffles the entire board. Flies and rotting plates prevent rows from being dragged and seem to work exactly the same way.

Pinhole Mahjong
A semi-interesting solitaire card game that plays like mahjong. You get more cards as levels go on, but it doesn’t really get more challenging.

Bellboy Bedlam
Well, they’ve got the Bedlam part down. You have 4 bellboys, a bunch of customers, and 4 rooms. The bellboys will stay at their post and perform their individual functions. When you drag them to a different location they will perform a different function: greet, check-in, clean, and check out. The only issue is that rooms take too long to clean, and there are too many customers. This is the one mini-game that I didn’t find very playable at all.

Talent Show Search
An object hunting game. With drawn objects that are outline and flat color only. There are drawers that can be opened, and things hiding behind others, but the objects are just too crudely drawn for this to be enjoyable. The objects are also not very responsive; even if you find the right object, it might take a few tries for your mouse to pick it up.

Pinball
It’s pinball. Nothing more, nothing less. There are some good song snippets to be had, that’s all.

Dance Contest
This is the supposed highlight of the game. There are 6 songs in all to unlock, and 3 levels of dancing for each. The premise is pretty simple: circles will appear on the ground with a radial green bar that indicates when you should click. Technically, it does it right on the beat, but the best place to click is 1/4 beat before it hits the end. Now, couple that with a sound effect that comes in just a bit late and you’ve got a rhythmic disaster on your hands. If you turn off the sound effects, this game is VERY playable with decent music. With sound effects on, this game is impossible.

Video Jigsaw
A jigsaw puzzle where the image is a looping video from the movie dirty dancing. I wonder why they didn’t loop an extra few frames in each backwards to make the transitions smoother, but it almost looks like it hiccups. This is a very high scoring game, and if you want to unlock all the other games early, this is the one to play. You can rack up enough points in 6-7 rounds to buy up everything else easily. Each finished puzzle also unlocks a movie clip where the audio is too low compared to the rest of the game, and isn’t viewable again unless you do the puzzle again.

Melon Mayhem
Slider Puzzle. Not much special about it at all. Make a path by moving dancer slider blocks to let a melon through. Very, very low scoring.

Log Balance
Move your mouse from left to right to keep yourself balanced on the log. Jump over knots, and slap fishes. (No joke.) It’s a bit of a non-game. You can ignore the fish if you like.

Trivia
A simple trivia game for the movie Dirty Dancing.

Cabin
This is where you can place furniture in your cabin and buy additional things for the pool and patio. There are 2 rooms and two outdoor locations where you can arrange furniture and generally play house. You can use the money you’ve accumulated during your mini-games to buy stuff. There are lots of stuff to buy, but to what end?

Dirty Dancing tries to be many things, but the lackluster presentation as well as the horrid sound effects (low quality), on top of the already generic mini-games made it one of the worst games I’ve played this year. This will only appeal to fans of the movie, and even at that, it didn’t appeal to me and I sat through Havana Nights.

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