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auditionRhythmic games are “the shit” these days. After Singstar, games like Guitar Hero and Rock Band are now dominating the charts. It’s the retro days all over again.

Of course, for those of us who don’t feel like making the music but like experiencing it, we can trace our steps to the game that started it all: Dance Dance Revolution.

As there are many PC clones of Guitar Hero, like Frets on Fire Make 'Frets On Fire' Even Better With Mods (Win/Mac/Lin) Make 'Frets On Fire' Even Better With Mods (Win/Mac/Lin) Read More and JamLegend JamLegend - Free Online Guitar Brilliance JamLegend - Free Online Guitar Brilliance Read More , it’s not a surprise to find PC adaptations of DDR as well. However, so far we only reviewed rhythmic online flash games 5 Rhythmic Online Flash Music Games to Groove Up Your Day 5 Rhythmic Online Flash Music Games to Groove Up Your Day Read More and missed some of the bigger fish in these waters.

Today, we’ll show you one of, if not the most popular rhythmic dance games on the block. You better tie those shoelaces, because we’re getting ready for a dance battle.

DISCLAIMER – Playing these games will most probably not make you a great dancer. Even more so, if you are Michael Jackson’s offspring, you’d do better hitting the club. Burning some calories, you know.

Audition

Audition was based on a popular comic, and quickly grew out to one of the most popular rhythmic dance games since Dance Dance Revolution. Two summers past, Audition even made it to a PSP – and later, cellphone-adaptation, Audition Portable.

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North American gamers were first supported by Nexon – the guys from MapleStory and Combat Arms – and support was later passed on to the now all Audition-dedicated RedBana. At the time, Audition is the playground for over 300 million dancers worldwide.

Gameplay

Gameplay is slightly different from most rhythm games. Players press the arrows displayed on their screen, and hit Spacebar or the Control key every fourth beat of a song. This starts out rather easy, but gets increasingly difficult, with more complex beats and the introduction of red arrows. When a red arrow scrolls by, you have to press the opposite directional arrow. Although you’re only using about four keys, your fingers will be quickly dancing across the keys.

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Players can join an existing room, or create a new one (and seize the role of the DJ). This player is given control over the difficulty and choice of music. Creating rooms is especially fun when you want to play with a couple of friends, but there are enough rooms to join if you’re only there for a quick shake.

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With great moves, players earn experience, and level up. Leveling up gives you a status in the game, but also makes it increasingly difficult to rise. Once you’re past level 5, you need to do a license challenge each time you raise a level. If you fail, you won’t have the license necessary to earn experience.

Community

Meanwhile, you can keep in contact with friends over the game. Hang out, or just have a chat. Audition comes with a built-in messenger tool, so you can view who’s online and where they’re at.

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With the messenger, and in-game bulletin boards, Audition aims for interacting players and a community feel, and hits it right on the head. Audition is a great game to play with friends, or to make new ones, and it doesn’t stop after you log off. On the Audition forums, the show goes on long after the game has stopped.

Bana Cash

creditcardtopleftLike many free games, Audition does need a source of income, and if they don’t want to bury you under the ads, most of the time that means in-game money.

The currency used in Audition is Bana Cash, which is bought through mini-transactions. Luckily, all purchasable articles are fashion-related, and none are gamebreaking. If you don’t mind wearing last year’s virtual clothes, you won’t notice a difference between free and paid play.

What do you think? Do your (virtual) feet itch yet, or do you prefer to rock out on a guitar? Which are your favourite, free rhythmic games? Tell us all about it in the comments, we’d love to hear!

Minimum Specifications Recommended Specifications
CPU Pentium III 1GHz CPU Pentium 4 1.4 GHz
RAM 256 RAM RAM 512 RAM
Video Card NVIDIA Geforce2 32MB Video Card NVIDIA Geforce4 64MB
Direct X Direct X 9.0c Direct X Direct X 9.0c
OS Windows 98/Me/2000/XP OS Windows 98/Me/2000/XP

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