Dance on Broadway

Game review by
Mark Raby, Common Sense Media
Dance on Broadway Game Poster Image
Dancing game has great music but lackluster controls.

Parents say

Not yet rated

Kids say

Not yet rated

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive messages

Songs come from the storied world of Broadway, with musicals like The Sound of Music and Lullaby of Broadway represented. It's a refreshing alternative to the myriad music games on the market that include songs with mature content and messages. While some songs include mildly provocative or suggestive lyrics, nothing is explicit and it is all within the context of being part of a wholesome and tasteful Broadway show.

Positive role models & representations

Without much of a story, players are not exposed to any sort of conflict or strong personalities. However, this game could encourage players to get up and move around while dancing to classic Broadway hits.

Ease of play

This game can be a bit confusing despite its basic design. Players are told to mimic the movements of onscreen dancers who often move with exaggerated thrusts and shakes. However, the actual movements that players need to perform are shown below the dancers in the form of arrows. So, when a dancer swings her arm up with exuberant force, players really only need to lightly nudge the controller upwards. This discrepancy between what is shown and the actual movement required can create moments of confusion, especially during fast-moving, energetic numbers.

Violence
Sex

Players get to choose which avatar they want to represent them on the screen during their dance routines. Some avatars are women dressed in mildly suggestive outfits that include garter belts and low-cut dresses. This clothing is in keeping with Broadway pageantry.

Language

One of the songs contains the word "ass." This is not a karaoke game so players are never asked to sing along, but the word does appear unedited in the background.

Consumerism
Drinking, drugs & smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Dance on Broadway is an interactive dancing game that requires players to move and shake their controllers in a manner corresponding with dance instructions that appear on the screen. Unlike other music games, which run the gamut from country to rap, all 20 tracks in this game are from Broadway musicals. The majority of these songs are family friendly, though a handful tend toward lewdness (the word "ass" appears in one song). Play is focused on performing dance routines; there is no karaoke aspect to the game. We reviewed the Wii version of the game.

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What's it about?

DANCE ON BROADWAY lets players dance to some of the most classic and timeless songs that have appeared on Broadway stages over the past 50 years. Players select an avatar and then follow that avatar's dance moves -- with Wii Remote in hand -- to score as many points as possible. There are 20 songs to choose from, which is smaller than many music games but tightly focused on a single genre. The game encourages players to get up off the couch and move around to burn calories while listening to their favorite musical numbers and performing what can sometimes be an intense upper body workout. Up to four dancers can play simultaneously on the same screen.

Is it any good?

Despite a nice collection of Broadway tunes and a novel concept, Dance on Broadway does not deliver a strong performance. Although players are asked to follow the movements of their avatar dancer, they are scored based on whether or not they correctly perform a much more basic maneuver. This can be an issue in songs that are very energetic and fast, making it difficult to follow the dancers and match the required controller movements at the same time. In the end, players will either have to choose whether to follow the avatar's moves, which are more fun but will lead to a lower score, or the simplistic arrow commands at the bottom of the screen. We were also left unimpressed by the presentation. Those hoping for a visual treat similar to what one would see on a New York City stage will no doubt be disappointed with the game's nonsensical, uninteresting background graphics, which have nothing to do with the songs being performed. Dance on Broadway is noteworthy for the fact that it celebrates Broadway music -- something not many games can say -- but it is not a worthwhile gaming experience.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how to incorporate active video games into their children's regular routine. Can video games help create an active lifestyle? Can you think of other fun ways to stay active?

  • Discuss the messages typically found in Broadway showtunes. Are they different than those found in most pop/rock songs?

Game details

For kids who love physical activity

Our editors recommend

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