Dance Central 3

Common Sense Media says

Fun and active dancing game for groups, now with story mode.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

Learning(i)

What parents need to know

Positive messages

This game is about dancing and social interactivity. It gets players moving and creates a spirit of light and pleasant competition. A special fitness mode could become part of the player's regular physical health regimen. Just keep in mind there's a sexual undercurrent to many of the dance moves and song lyrics.

Positive role models

The game's dancers come off as skilled performers, but sometimes show a bit of attitude. Female characters are as talented as the men, but a bit more sexualized due to occasionally revealing outfits.

Ease of play

Kids can choose their skill levels and select from songs sorted by difficulty. Onscreen instructions in menus and while dancing ensure that players are never at a loss as to what to do. New voice-enabled controls make actions like pausing the game and switching modes quick and simple.

Violence
Not applicable
Sex

Some of the female dancers wear suggestive clothing, including short shorts and low-cut tops that reveal modest cleavage. Women's breasts move independently of their bodies, creating an authentic jiggling effect when dancers shake their torsos. Many of the songs focus on sexuality (like "Da' Butt" by E.U., which includes the line "Doin' da butt, hey sexy, sexy"), but more explicit lyrics have been faded out so the player can't hear them.

Language

Light profanity, such as the word "bitch," can be heard in some songs.

Consumerism

This game features plenty of popular songs. Some players will likely be moved to buy those they like outside of the game. Plus, it facilitates in-game purchases of additional music.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

One song mentions Bud Light.

Privacy & safety
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Dance Central 3 is a dance simulation game that teaches players authentic dance moves and then evaluates their performance. It encourages social interactivity in group play modes and facilitates plenty of healthy activity (players will be sweating after just a couple of songs). Parents should be aware, though, that an undercurrent of sexuality permeates many of the dance moves and can be heard through song lyrics. Tracks like Niki Minaj's profanity-laden "Starships" have been edited to remove the most offensive bits, but the music's focus on sex is still plainly evident.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Arts

  • dance
  • movement
  • rhythm

Hobbies

  • sports

Skills

Creativity

  • imagination

Collaboration

  • cooperation
  • teamwork

Health & Fitness

  • exercise
  • fitness
  • movement

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

Much deeper than most dance games and with a great selection of songs too boot, Dance Central 3 should prove fun for just about anyone who wants to shake a leg,

Learning Approach

Players will actually learn to dance in this highly physical game. On-screen instructions show players how to perform famous dances, and the Kinect sensor accurately gauges how well they pull off each move.

Support

It provides ample instruction and feedback within the game. There's no official support outside the game, but players can always enroll in dance classes to take their dancing to the next level.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Arts

  • dance
  • movement
  • rhythm

Hobbies

  • sports

Skills

Creativity

  • imagination

Collaboration

  • cooperation
  • teamwork

Health & Fitness

  • exercise
  • fitness
  • movement

Kids can learn about dance and healthy activity in this instructive, engaging, and highly physical game for Xbox 360 Kinect. The game shows players how to perform famous dances from the past 40 years, from classic YMCA arm movements to modern hip-hop popping. A fitness mode, meanwhile, counts calories burned and outputs data to Microsoft's free Kinect PlayFit app so players can track their exercise over multiple games. Dance Central 3 is meant for fun and education and succeeds nicely on both counts.   

This Learning Rating review was written by Chad Sapieha

Parents say

Kids say

What's it about?

DANCE CENTRAL 3's story mode -- a first for the acclaimed series -- has kids taking on an evil dance genius on a journey through time. The tale starts back in the 1970s then moves through the '80s, '90s, and '00s all the way up to modern music. Kids play simply by mirroring dancers, checking diagrammatical instructions scrolling along the side of the screen for cues as to what they need to do next. Friends can jump in at any time by stepping in front of the camera, and a new "crew throwdown" mode allows up to eight players to challenge each other in dance tournaments. Long-time Dance Central fans can import music from previous games, and the series' popular fitness mode returns for players who want the game to double as a regimented workout.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Dance Central 3 follows in the footsteps of its predecessors in taking the title of most advanced dance game. Unlike its competitors, which are made for multiple platforms with varying interfaces, Harmonix's game is built from the ground up to make the most of Kinect. That means it's tuned to track every part of your body, and can tell with surprising accuracy whether or not your feet, belly, arms, and head are all in the right spot at any given moment. It can make for a more challenging experience, but you'll be a better dancer for it.

This latest iteration moves the series forward in several meaningful ways, from a story mode that helps flesh out the game's catalog of songs by era to multiplayer modes that let different players seamlessly jump in and out of the game with hardly a break in the music. It's a deep enough experience to recommend an Xbox 360 and Kinect to anyone who loves dance, even if they only use Microsoft's hardware for this one game.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about keeping fit. What do you like to do for physical activity outside of video games? Have you ever taken lessons in your favorite sport or joined a league or club?

  • Do you think of dance games as exercise or fun or both? What makes a dance game good?

Game details

Platforms:Xbox 360
Price:$49.99
Available online?Not available online
Developer:Microsoft Studios
Release date:October 16, 2012
Genre:Music
Topics:Music and sing-along
ESRB rating:T for Lyrics, Mild Suggestive Themes (Xbox 360)

This review of Dance Central 3 was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Kid, 11 years old February 14, 2013
AGE
10
QUALITY
 
LEARNING

Good game

This game is an awesome games that teaches you dance moves including the dougie

What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Safety and privacy concerns
Kid, 9 years old December 1, 2013
AGE
18
QUALITY
 

this is not for kids

I think this is not a game for kids because it has inaproprate language and lots of other not kid stuff

What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Safety and privacy concerns

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