What parents need to know
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.
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?
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.
Explore, discuss, enjoy
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.