Nightclub Fever
| Nightclub Fever

Who knew running a nightclub every night could be such hard work? If my experience of the average local dive is anything to go by, those working in dance halls up and down the land are more concerned with clearing up vomit in the toilets and splitting up fights in the queues than they are with making sure their guests are suitably entertained.

Of course, games are there to provide a level of escapism, and though Nightclub Fever's venues do come with the odd ruffian looking to cause trouble, your priority as club manager is to ensure that the guests in your empire of dance remain engaged enough to keep spending their cash.

Nightclub Fever works on the understanding that all the instruments at your disposal - from the bar, to the music, through to the dance floor itself - only function when pulsed with a bout of energy, each one attracting your guests in the near vicinity when you activate it.

The only problem is, each area only stays active for a very short period of time, the charge bar filling back up before you can fill it with another burst of energy.

Your guests quickly get tired if you don't keep them enthused, so play basically involves keeping an eye on just where they're wandering and activating anything they walk by to stop them leaving the club. Each night you play, however, comes with its own goal - serving a set number of guests dressed in a certain colour, and so on - that has to be reached within a set (rather short) time limit.

Play only moves on when these targets are hit. As each hurdle you have to leap gets higher, spending your earnings on upgrading your equipment (upgrading your bar, for instance, means it will be able to attract clubbers from farther afield and serve them at a quicker pace) is key, all so you can move on to the next club, and the next, and the next, spanning the globe from Los Angeles to London.

The problem is, while Nightclub Fever is pitched at a Diner Dash audience, requiring you to tap button after button in quick-fire, it has neither the pace nor the potential for sheer calamity to compete. This is a simpler, slower alternative, but the haphazard nature of your guests means progress often feels random, and the buzz you should get from hitting your goals never really hits its stride.

Nightclub Fever might be a light, bright first step into the world of simulation, but it doesn't quite have the goods to keep you dancing all night long.

Nightclub Fever

Not quite quick enough to get you on your feet and a little too random to count on, Nightclub Fever is a graduated gateway to tap-happy simulation titles that is ultimately superseded by the Diner Dashes of this world