Just Dance 2014

Common Sense Media says

Dance to today's and yesterday's songs for fun and fitness.

Age(i)

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

Quality(i)

 

Learning(i)

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The game celebrates music, dancing, diversity, and socializing -- so the messages inferred are very positive ones.

Positive role models

The game stars you. Therefore there are no role models other than the professional dancers you're mimicking on-screen.

Ease of play

Though the menu screens might be a bit tricky to navigate using gestures (at least in the Xbox 360 version tested for this review), the game is easy to play because you're simply mirroring the on-screen dancers.

Violence
Not applicable
Sex

There are a few suggestive lines in the song lyrics, such as, "Take me by the tongue," "Temptress, hands up, naughty on the inside," and "Hey, sexy boy, set me free / Don't be shy, play with me / My dirty boy, can't you see." In one animated scene, a Rabbid (an Ubisoft video game character) removes its shorts in a comical fashion, but there is no nudity.

Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

The game promotes today's hottest artists such as Katy Perry, Justin Bieber, will.i.am, Rihanna, Lady Gaga, Psy, and others. Some of the moves mimic the performances in their videos (such as in Psy's "Gentleman"). There's an in-game store where you can spend earned gold to acquire new songs and other unlocks or use real money to buy downloadable tracks.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

There are a half-dozen references to alcohol in the lyrics of these songs such as "Kiss me 'til you're drunk," "All I need is some vodka," and "She...makes you order French champagne."

Privacy & safety

No safety concerns. There is a multiplayer version of the game, but dancers can't communicate with one another.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Just Dance 2014 is a dancing game that has you mimic the moves of professional dancers to many of today's (and yesterday's) popular songs. Some of the nearly 50 tracks have mild sexual references or sing about consuming alcohol, but it's not excessive.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Arts

  • choreography
  • dance
  • movement

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • memorization

Self-Direction

  • work to achieve goals
  • effort

Tech Skills

  • using and applying technology

Health & Fitness

  • body awareness
  • exercise
  • gross motor skills
  • movement

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

Kids can't resist playing Just Dance 2014 because it relies on pop music, dancing, and socializing. It's a fun and sticky game that's ideal for the entire family or a group of friends.

Learning Approach

Kids learn that exercising can be fun. They'll learn about dance, music variety, and healthy competition.

Support

The game is pretty forgiving for those with little rhythm. You'll get a lot of information based on your performance.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Arts

  • choreography
  • dance
  • movement

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • memorization

Self-Direction

  • work to achieve goals
  • effort

Tech Skills

  • using and applying technology

Health & Fitness

  • body awareness
  • exercise
  • gross motor skills
  • movement

Kids can learn to dance, and they'll learn that this movement can be a fun activity for getting fit (thanks, in part, to the calorie-counting mode). Kids also can learn music appreciation, ethnic and gender diversity, and how much fun it is to socialize (the game was built for group play). Just Dance 2014 turns dancing into a game that encourages musical expression and exercise.

This Learning Rating review was written by Marc Saltzman

Parents say

Kids say

What's it about?

Video games and exercise need not be mutually exclusive activities. Ubisoft's Just Dance series –- which now has sold more than 40 million copies worldwide -– encourages gamers to get up on their feet and dance to today’s top hits (and some classics, too). The latest in the franchise is JUST DANCE 2014, available for all major console platforms -- and, soon, for Xbox One and PlayStation 4. As with its predecessors, the game challenges you to mimic moves of professional dancers to rack up as many points as possible. In other words, you're pretending to look in a mirror so you can copy the dancer's moves, in real time, as best as you can. The Xbox 360 version we tested works with the Kinect peripheral, so you don't have to hold anything in your hands to play as you do for the other consoles. Body moves are captured by the sensors and the camera to compare your rhythm against the on-screen men and women, who appear in front of an animated background. Your performance is graded at the top of the screen, while lyrics are at the bottom for those who want to glance down and follow along. Up to four people can step in front of the television at any time –- even during a song -- and they'll automatically join in on the fun.

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Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Yes, the new tracks make it a fun pick -- and though it's not revolutionary, there are a couple of new additions to this year's Just Dance offering, including the first-ever online multiplayer mode. Called "World Dance Floor," it lets you dance with others, whether it's real-life friends or random Just Dance fans, and then compete on different themes such as "Boys vs. Girls." Less exciting, perhaps, is a new "On Stage" mode, wherein one dancer takes the lead and has two backup dancers along for the ride. Back again is the "Just Sweat" mode, where you can create a custom workout and the game will keep track of the calories burned.

As with last year's version, the camera just above or below the television will capture your dance moves (Xbox 360, PS3) and show you an entertaining video summary when you're done with each song. You can add special effects, save your performance, or share it online. The Wii U version, on the other hand, lets you capture video on the Wii U GamePad, if desired. Plus, it offers a "Party Master Mode," which lets someone use the Wii U GamePad to pick new songs, choose dance moves, and tap to initiate new challenges for the dancers. Without toying much with the formula, Ubisoft's Just Dance 2014 is a highly entertaining and family-friendly pick, especially given its huge roster of new songs.

Families can talk about...

Game details

Platforms:Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Nintendo Wii U, Nintendo Wii
Price:$39.99 to $49.99
Available online?Not available online
Developer:UbiSoft
Release date:October 8, 2013
Genre:Music and Dance
Topics:Arts and dance, Music and sing-along
ESRB rating:E10+ for Comic Mischief, Lyrics (Nintendo Wii, Nintendo Wii U, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One)

This review of Just Dance 2014 was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

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.

Find out more

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

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What parents and kids say

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Adult Written by392818 December 7, 2013
AGE
18
QUALITY
 

NOT for Family Night-ADULTS ONLY

I've been reading through a lot of the songs' lyrics and there are tons more sexual lyrics than is posted here. Not suitable for even my highschoolers. A good third of the songs are referring to "hooking up" (and getting drunk, etc...) and when I thought I found a safe song for my kids to dance to (because it was a foreign language) the dancer grabs his crotch near the end of the dance (Michael Jackson style). If you value what your kids are entertained by, do not get this. Rent it first and see for yourself.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Parent Written bymartimusears January 15, 2014
AGE
17
QUALITY
 

Lyrics promote sexual violence against women (Plus: A sample script to use to contact Nintendo)

I'm very disappointed in Nintendo's song selections for Just Dance 2014. At least eleven of the 46 songs are about sex. At least four of these songs have lyrics about alcohol consumption and sex, which research has shown is a dangerous combination for teens that often leads to sexual assault. And at least three songs contain dehumanizing lyrics that promote sexual violence against women. "C'mon" by KE$SHA, features a cute panda dancing with a girl. Unfortunately this endearing panda is dancing to a song about a girl who is drinking and trying to convince a guy to have a one night stand with her, including a repeated reference to offering him oral sex. "We've been keeping it PG / But I wanna get a little frisky / Come...some of that yum like a... / Let me set you free." The words the game edited/silenced out with the "..." are "gimme" and "lollipop." (Come gimme some of that yum like a lollipop.) In another place they edited out "Hooters," but even with these edits, these are not words and messages that parents want running through their child or teen's head, as catchy songs tend to do. "Blurred Lines" by Robin Thicke is the infamous song Miley Cyrus danced to with Thicke at the MTV Video Music Awards. In this song about Thicke trying to have sex with a "good girl," Thicke says, "Do it like it hurt, like it hurt/What you don't like work?" He then makes reference to his penis, "I got this from Jamaica/It always works for me, Dakota to Decatur, uh huh." Thicke sounds like a sexual predator/perpetrator and the message is clear: Sex for males is about pleasure while sex for females is about work and pain. These are the same attitudes that sexual perpetrators ("Johns") hold to justify violence against women and girls who are lured or forced into prostitution. It's ridiculous that Nintendo and Ubisoft thought it was a good idea to include this song in a game they market to kids and teens. "Just Dance" by Lady Gaga featuring Colby O'Donis also contains lyrics that are sexual, violent and dehumanizing: "I'ma hit it and flex it and do it until tomorrow." "Hit it" is a slang term for a male having sex with a female that is both violent ("hit") and dehumanizing ("it"). The woman is reduced to an "it" and what is meant to be a loving act is characterized by a violent act. "Pound the Alarm" by Nicki Minaj has more sexually explicit, dehumanizing lyrics mixed with alcohol consumption. "Bottle, sip, bottle, guzzle" and "I wanna do it for the night/So get me now and knock this over/I wanna do it like you like." Here a woman refers to herself in a dehumanizing way (a "this," or object, rather than a person) and invites a man to be violent with her ("knock this over"). She's willing to "do it like (he) likes" even if that means violence. This is the same message the porn industry continually peddles, fueling the epidemic of violence against women. Please write or call Nintendo (1-800-255-3700) to complain and ask them to commit to changing their song selection process for all future Just Dance games. Here's a sample script: "Hello, I'm calling to complain about the lyrics in many of the songs in Just Dance 2014. Almost a fourth of the songs are about sex and some of them dehumanize and promote sexual violence against women. I want Nintendo to commit to improving the song selection process for all future Just Dance games and to create more options such as the ability to turn off the vocals on individual songs and the ability to remove individual songs and replace them with songs from the Just Dance "Store" at no additional charge. Nintendo can best serve its Just Dance customers who are predominantly underage girls by refusing to perpetuate sexual violence against them. I love dancing and the concept of Just Dance. Parents can make a list for their kids of the songs they want them to avoid (and hope that they will). That's what I'm doing. Unfortunately that list may include approximately 10 songs.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Parent of a 12 and 15 year old Written bycyndifug8 November 1, 2013
AGE
12
QUALITY
 

Another Hit

Just Dance 2014 is the latest installment of a fun series of video games, and this one delivers just as the past ones have. It isn't my favorite edition thus far, but it has some very current song selections as well as some great classics. There are a few songs that are a bit too sexy for my family, but the great thing is that you can just skip right over them and ignore them.
What other families should know
Too much sex

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