While Ubisoft has already released Michael Jackson The Experience on consoles and handhelds, the company also decided to pump one out for the iPad.
And while I’ve had the opportunity to play the Xbox 360 (Kinect) and Wii versions, I have to admit that I really did enjoy playing it on the iPad. Of course this version is quite different from what I experienced on the consoles, as the game more resembles something like Elite Beat Agents, in terms of gameplay style; more on that in a moment.
Upon firing up the game, players will find a handful of songs available, each with fantastic sound quality, especially when using headphones. Before and during performances, the game also shows off some CGI-rendered cutscenes from the music videos, which admittedly look pretty darn good.
To play, users are asked to tap and make gestures on the screen to coincide with Michael’s dance moves, which can go from being quite easy to difficult, though the game does offer three different difficulty levels. At certain points of each song, the player gets a sort of break from the action, but are given the chance to do a little freestyle with MJ, for additional bonus points. Upon completing each performance, players will then net a high score, which can also be uploaded to Game Center to compare with other players.
After an extended period of play, I found myself enjoying what the game had to offer, but I could not overlook the one area where the game faltered big time: content. For $4.99, the game only gives players four different songs to choose from: Beat It, Blood on the Dance Floor, Speed Demon and Smooth Criminal. My biggest issue with that, is that the game is positioned like a freemium title but it is clearly not. Gamers will be forced to cough up an additional $1.99 (per track) for a few other songs such as Billy Jean, and although I understand that getting Michael Jackson songs is not cheap, four songs is just not nearly enough for a $5 downloadable game.
Musical offerings aside, Michael Jackson The Experience HD is a fun little endeavor that is a nice little time-killer that will surely entice fans of MJ’s music. With high scores and varying difficulty levels, the game has some decent replayability but it could have been much more.