Just Dance

Common Sense Media says

Unresponsive controls make dance game difficult to play.

Age(i)

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

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The poor scoring methods unfortunately send the message that skill has no effect on winning or losing.

Ease of play

The game seems to have the simplest rules of all -- simply mimic the dance moves you see on screen. But scoring seems entirely random and your ability to actually follow that one simple rule doesn't appear to affect your chances at success or failure.

Violence
Not applicable
Sex

Some mildly suggestive lyrics (phrases like "between the sheets"). There are also a couple of dance moves that could make some parents uncomfortable, including a pelvic thrust and a spanking motion. This is not the majority of the action.

Language

The phrase "pain in the a*s" appears in one lyric. Written lyrics can be turned off.

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this multiplayer dance party game could be the cause of frustration and tears for kids who are sensitive to negative feedback. A child who feels they are doing reasonably well at copying the choreography, can become very discouraged if they are then be told by the game that they missed 86% of the moves. Add to that a younger sibling who wildly swings the remote and manages to receive a higher score, and you've got yourself the makings of a meltdown.

Parents say

Kids say

What's it about?

Here's how JUST DANCE is supposed to work: While an onscreen dancer, clad in era-appropriate garb, dances to hit song from the last four decades, up to four players try to mirror the choreography with Wii remotes in their hands. The Wii remote allegedly senses how close the players are to perfectly mimicking the virtual dancer's moves, and grades them accordingly.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

So what went wrong with this game? Well, you can't fault the soundtrack -- Just Dance features a really nice selection of songs to groove to, including Irene Cara's "Fame," Katy Perry's "Hot and Cold," and Dee-lite's "Groove is in the Heart." The funky iPod-ad-style visuals are also pretty cool. And it definitely gives you a good workout. So why does this game potentially frustrate players? Because the scoring makes no sense whatsoever. In trying out Just Dance, players who appeared to pull of a pretty darn good imitation of the onscreen dancer got tons of X's in their score column, meaning they'd missed move after move. At the same time, a 3-year-old who grabbed a remote and jumped around wildly somehow managed to hit a series of "GREAT" moves. Dancing to these songs is fun, but if there's no sensible scoring being done, why play the game? You might be better off simply playing the music and just dancing.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how well or how poorly one does at a virtual skill in a video game has no bearing on how successful they would be at that same skill in real life. Do poor scores in a dance game mean your a bad dancer? No more than high scores at Guitar Hero mean your ready for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Game details

Platforms:Nintendo Wii
Price:$39.99
Available online?Not available online
Developer:UbiSoft
Release date:November 27, 2009
Genre:Music
ESRB rating:E10+ for Lyrics, Mild Suggestive Themes (Nintendo Wii)

This review of Just Dance 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 Written bypandapika April 12, 2011
AGE
8
QUALITY
 

IDK what's wrong with it!

I don't get why everyone is freaking out about this game. Its scoring is perfectly legit. Plus, The a** thing? Seen all the songs. Nothing. Yeah, but only one problem: people can hit each other my accident. But as long as you're spread out, get this game.

What other families should know
Safety and privacy concerns
Kid, 9 years old Written bymagz1027 September 5, 2010
AGE
6
QUALITY
 

Fun, but not for younger children

It's a really good game but, in some lyrics there are inappropriate language and some inappropriate dance movements.

What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Teen, 13 years old Written byRodeo-Girl October 24, 2010
AGE
9
QUALITY
 

Fun for everyone!

Great content, but there is the ocasional suggestive dance move,
and there are very few profanities. The only ones are the rather tame ones. This game is great for everyone, though the controls are unresponsive at times, I have noticed with ours, it just takes time for the remote to adjust, then the scoring is better, This is a great game to help you get fit. Be aware, the controls need time to adjust.

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