Samba de Amigo was released in Japanese arcades in December 1999, developed by Sonic Team and published by Sega. The game was ported to the Sega Dreamcast the next year, making its way to the United States. The Dreamcast version came bundled with two maraca controllers, where the goal was matching a series of patterns on screen.
Samba de Amigo was played by shaking the pair of maraca controllers to the beat of the music by shaking them high, middle, or low heights and occasionally, striking a pose. On screen, along with the notes, players see Amigo, the monkey protagonist of the game. If the player played well, more people would appear on screen as the audience. However, if the player played badly, the people would slowly disappear leaving Amigo all alone.
Each player has six spots arranged in a circle on the screen. Two red spots means shake high. Two yellow spots means shake middle. And two green spots means shake low. Blue spots would move toward these red, yellow and green spots and when the blue spot met other spots the player must then shake high/middle/low to get a "Amigo" bonus. Also, a long line of notes occasionally appear with the word "Shake!", the player then must shake the maracas rapidly in that spot. Finally, players would occasionally have to copy the pose of another character that would sometimes appear on the screen, named Pose.
The original arcade version simply featured three stages with three songs to pick from in each stage. If the player does well, a Special Stage would appear with three more songs. The Dreamcast version maintained that game mode while also adding Original Mode, which is the same as the Arcade mode but the player is able to choose any song they want. Another new mode in the Dreamcast version was Party Mode, which is a series of minigames. Party Mode featured Guacamole (whack-a-mole), Strike a Pose ( a long sequence of poses) and 1-2 Samba! (where spots would have be hit in sequence). Party Mode also featured Battle and Couples games. Battle would have players trying to score more points than the other player in order to eliminate him and win the stage. Couples was the opposite of this with players playing the stage cooperatively in order to score the most points. Finally, there was Challenge Mode where the players were given a goal other than just completing the song. The mode featured 25 challenges.
Songs appearing in Arcade and Dreamcast versions
Al Compás Del Mambo" / "Mambo Beat - Perez Pardo
The Cup of Life - Ricky Martin
La Bamba - Ritchie Valens
Livin' la Vida Loca - Ricky Martin
Love Lease - Masao Honda
Macarena - Los Del Rio
Samba de Janiero - Bellini
Soul Bassa Nova - Quincy Jones
Take On Me - Reel Big Fish
Tequila - The Champs
The Theme of Inoki / Ali Bombaye - Michael Masser
Tubthumping - No Smoking
El Ritmo Tropical (El Bimbo) - Dixie's Gang
Samba de Amigo (Samba de Janiero 2000) - Bellini P.K.G. Productions (remix)
Mas Que Nada - Jorge Ben
Japanese Dreamcast-only songs
El Mambo - Solemar