Just Dance 2023 Edition
Latest dancing game adds new features, improvements.
Just Dance 2023 Edition
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A Lot or a Little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Just Dance 2023 Edition -- available for Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 5, and Xbox Series X/S -- is a rhythm and dancing game that includes a few dozen pop songs from today and yesterday (and the option to purchase more). It's the latest installment in the Just Dance franchise. Depending on the version, players use either the console's controllers or a smartphone with Just Dance Controller app installed to track their dance moves, and it provides a score based on how well players mimic the on-screen dancers. Parents should be aware that some of the lyrics have references to drinking and smoking. The dancers dress or move suggestively, but it's not overly sexual. The words "hell" and "damn" are in at least one song.
songs are clean versions of not-clean songs
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What’s It About?
As with all previous Just Dance games over the years, Ubisoft's JUST DANCE 2023 EDITION is a rhythm game that challenges gamers to mimic the moves of the on-screen dancers. Players' movements are captured with a JoyCon controller in each hand (Nintendo Switch version) or by a smartphone with the Just Dance Controller app installed (for PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S). This is different from previous iterations where a camera/sensor could be placed just above or below the television to monitor the player's performance in front of the TV. Still, you're awarded a score based on how well you match the professional dancers moving to today's (and yesterday's) popular songs. The game includes about 40 tracks, but there's additional free content and a paid subscription service, too. Even more fun than dancing solo, players can have friends or family members join them to play with or against each other in front of the same TV or through a new online multiplayer mode (which will be available on Xbox Series X/S at a later date). In a franchise first, up to five friends can play from around the world in online groups, all connected to the host's menu. Featuring new art direction and a redesigned user interface (including a new menu design), the game offers personalized recommendations, progression and rewards, free content updates (new songs, modes, and more), and an optional Just Dance+ subscription service with an expanding catalog.
Is It Any Good?
For an annual game that hasn't changed much over the years, Ubisoft has done a solid job in offering all new tracks while pulling back on the push for the subscription service. In fact, Just Dance 2023 vows regular free content updates, which helps justify the purchase. Plus, it introduces a few modes and features, and a graphical update, which proves the developer isn't resting on its laurels. The song selection is good, too, including mega hits like Harry Styles' "As It Was," a couple of BTS tracks (including "Dynomite"), Olivia Rodrigo's "Drivers License," Taylor Swift's "I Knew You Were Trouble," and Dua Lipa's "Physical." It's also great to see some harder rock songs, including Evanescence's "Bring Me to Life," and Linkin Park's "Numb." Classic dance tracks are here too, including "Disco Inferno" by The Trammps.
While not yet active on the Xbox Series X/S version, the online multiplayer is fun, plus there are other new modes like Enter the Danceverses, a story-driven mode that gives you a reason to play songs you might otherwise skip. The new menus make it easier to find content and navigate around the game, and overall seem quicker with this year's version. That said, it can be a drag to hold your smartphone (and risk dropping it) instead of using a camera on top of the television (or holding lightweight and small JoyCon controllers for the Nintendo Switch version). Plus, with a smartphone, it's only capturing your movement with that one hand. Overall, Just Dance 2023 Edition delivers a fun time while supporting movement and exercise, multiplayer matches (encouraging a social experience), and the enjoyment of many of today's top pop songs.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about the positivity of this rhythm game. Will parents think Just Dance 2023 is positive, since it requires movement -- dancing in front of the television -- and encourages social interaction with multiplayer modes? Or will grown-ups be concerned about the suggestive dance moves, some skimpy outfits, and some lyrics about drinking and smoking?
Is it a good idea to require a smartphone (for PlayStation and Xbox versions) instead of controllers? Or is it a mistake to assume that people can afford a smartphone, and some kids who play may not have one accessible to them?
- Platforms: Nintendo Switch, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 5
- Pricing structure: Paid ($29.99)
- Available online?: Available online
- Publisher: UbiSoft
- Release date: November 25, 2022
- Genre: Music & Dance
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Arts and Dance, Robots, Wild Animals
- ESRB rating: E for Comic Mischief, Mild Cartoon Violence, Mild Lyrics
- Last updated: January 18, 2023
Our Editors Recommend
Just Dance 2021
Fan favorite rhythm game keeps the dance party going.
Just Dance 2020
Great for dancing, socializing -- but some mature lyrics.
Just Dance 2018
Familiar but fun dance routine with a few new steps.
For kids who love dancing
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