DanceMasters

Game review by
Chris Morris, Common Sense Media
DanceMasters Game Poster Image
Dancing done light for Kinect; rhythm not required.

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

The game focuses on dancing, moving, and having fun, all positive messages and activities for children.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The dancers on screen generally wear revealing outfits.

Ease of Play

The game gives good directions on how to figure out its mechanics and offers three levels of play per song, accommodating players of all skill sets.

Violence
Sex

Some of the characters, including the one featured in the tutorial, wear revealing outfits, showing cleavage and exposed midriffs, along with short shorts. The camera will often sometimes linger on female dancer's buttocks. While there's nothing explicit, some song lyrics can be suggestive, with lines such as "Making love with you... is all I wanna do" and "Take a look into these bedroom eyes".

Language
Consumerism

The game offers downloadable content. This is expected to (but does not yet) include additional songs, which cost real world money.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that DanceMasters is a dance game for the Kinect motion control peripheral for Xbox 360. The game lets players try to recreate the onscreen actions of dancer characters. Rather than actually teaching dance moves along the way, like Dance Central, this is a game where you strike dance poses to earn points and higher scores. Female dancers are generally dressed in skimpy outfits, and some of the song lyrics are sexually suggestive, but they're generally milder than anything you'll hear on commercial radio.

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What's it about?

DANCEMASTERS is a new type of game designed to work with the Kinect motion sensing peripheral for the Xbox 360. The camera tracks your movements as you mimic certain actions of the dancers on screen. Unlike other Kinect dance games, like Dance Central, the point of this game isn't to learn dance moves, but to strike poses on command and wave around your arms and legs the rest of the time. Developed by the company behind Dance Dance Revolution, this is dancing done light for Kinect -- and doesn't require you to have rhythm to have fun.

Is it any good?

DanceMasters is an incredibly fun game that puts no pressure on players to learn complicated moves. The point is less about nailing routines as it is about scoring points and moving. There's plenty of flailing about, but that's half the fun. The song selection likely won't be familiar to people who don't go to dance clubs, though, so you won't be able to dance to songs you're familiar with -- and only 20 of the game's 31 songs are initially available. (You have to unlock the others and DanceMasters isn't real clear about how to go about doing that.) Downloadable digital content will seemingly broaden the catalog, but we would have liked to have seen one or two familiar songs.

Online interaction: The game encourages you to play with friends online, but does allow children to play with strangers (or people not on their friend's list) via Xbox Live. However there is no chat.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about whether it's more fun to move their entire body in dance games, as they do here, or to just move their feet on a mat, as they do in Dance Dance Revolution. Which is easier and which gets your blood pumping more?

  • What is your favorite type of music to dance to? Is it more fun to dance alone or with friends? If with friends, do you prefer them to be in the room with you -- or dance with them via the multiplayer elements of Xbox Live?

Game details

  • Platforms: Xbox 360
  • Price: $49.99
  • Available online? Available online
  • Developer: Konami
  • Release date: November 4, 2010
  • Genre: Music & Dance
  • ESRB rating: E10+ for Lyrics, suggestive themes

For kids who love music games

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