Just Dance 2016

Game review by
Christy Matte, Common Sense Media
Just Dance 2016 Game Poster Image
Lively dance action, but too much pressure to spend, share.

Parents say

age 6+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 8+
Based on 2 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Encourages kids to get fit through dancing, especially through "Sweat" section that includes workout playlists with calories burned.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Players don't take on character roles; they simply dance by themselves along with shadowy dancers on-screen.

Ease of Play

Though the game is easy to navigate, younger players may struggle with occasionally complex dance moves. Ability to choose between motion sensing (if available on console), use of a controller makes it accessible even for those who aren't gamers. Still some issues with younger kids being recognized by camera.

Violence
Sex

Background dancers occasionally wear tight, short, or skimpy clothes, dance suggestively. All cartoon silhouettes with clothes; little realism.

Language

"Damn" appears in some lyrics. Some lyrics are suggestive, including "You open the door, wearing nothing but a smile" and "Got your mind on my body and your body on my mind."

Consumerism

In-game ads for add-on subscription service to stream additional dances, as well as icons for premium songs in dance list (clicking them prompts you to subscribe). Game comes with a trial of either 48 hours (standard game) or three months (gold version) of subscription service.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Lyrics reference drinking, including "Takin' all the liquor straight" and "Champagne spillin', you should taste that."

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Just Dance 2016 is the latest in an ongoing series of group dance-video games. Up to four players can join in using the console's controllers and camera, and up to six can play using a free app on their mobile phones. The music includes oldies, show tunes, more current Top 40 hits, world music, kids' music, and even some classical. Lyrics have been cleaned up for a wide audience, but there are still some suggestive songs and dance moves. Clothing is occasionally on the skimpy side (short shorts, bikini tops), but dancers are more cartoon silhouettes than realistic bodies. Players have the option to upload their in-game dance videos to a public global platform for sharing (also on their website) or to view videos from others around the world. There's also the option to "battle" other players by trying to beat their dance scores. This content is moderated. Kids may also be drawn to the Main Menu option to link to a UPlay Rewards account. This requires access to the console browser, so it may not be accessible if a parental control is in place. There are in-game ads for the "Unlimited" streaming service (a free trial comes with the games), and all the premium songs are listed in the game even if you aren't yet subscribed, although you should expect pressure to subscribe.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byjess b. March 16, 2017

Great family game for all ages

As a family we love this game and since buying this one we have purchase da few more of the older Just Dance versions. My kids are aged 4, 8 and 10 and even tho... Continue reading
Kid, 9 years old September 24, 2016

great game

love this game its amazing!!It has so many good features!!!!great song choices also!a plus to the creators!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Teen, 13 years old Written byPhilosoraptor July 19, 2016

Not as original as I hoped, but more awesome features!

The graphics or backgrounds haven't really changed as much as I had hoped (it strongly resembles its predecessor, JD 2015). I do however like that they ha... Continue reading

What's it about?

JUST DANCE 2016 has no story mode, but it has seven activities and 43 songs. The basic mode, Dance Party, allows one or more players to dance in a competition for points or in a cooperative mode to earn gems together. If a camera is present (Kinect, Move, Wii U Gamepad), players will get a silly recap of their dance they can save, share to Facebook, or upload to the Just Dance global servers. Showtime is a karaoke mode with several songs that you can freestyle dance to while singing along. If a camera is used, players end up with a music video complete with special effects. Dance Quest pits you against other "players" (game generated) while you perform several dances. Complete the criteria for each level to move on to the next level. Sweat & Playlists is the area for people who want to use Just Dance 2016 to reach fitness goals. You can use a built-in playlist or create your own. It gives you a rough breakdown of calories burned for each one. Just Dance TV allows you to view dance videos from other players around the world, as well as access special Just Dance content. World Video Challenge invites players to upload their dance videos to pit themselves against other players around the world. It's not a live dance-off but it is against other people. Lastly, UPlay rewards players for doing various in-game activities. It's part of UbiSoft's game-reward program. Throughout the Just Dance 2016 experience, players can unlock credits to buy more avatars, mash-ups, and special versions of the dances.

Is it any good?

With the addition of subscription-based streaming DLC content and a lot of social sharing options to the Just Dance franchise, UbiSoft has really ramped it up. For some players, this will greatly enhance their gameplay experience. Unfortunately, there's no way to drown out all the additional noise in the game, making safety and privacy a concern as well as putting additional pressure on parents to buy more content. A constant stream of video content from other players scrolls by in the Main Menu whether you want it there or not. The UPlay icon also appears prominently in the Main Menu, although it requires a UPlay account (which is restricted to ages 13 and older). A banner at the bottom of the menu advertises their streaming service, and kids who select a premium song from the list will be prompted to subscribe. It's a minefield for parents. On a positive note, the addition of the karaoke feature is fun for kids who want to dance their own moves and be the star on the screen. Song choices are limited, but it's a nice change of pace.

There is a nice mix of songs overall, including odd-man-out "William Tell Overture" and a seated dance version of "Under the Sea." You can even dance to some lively Irish music. Tweens and teens may not be impressed, but these song choices make this a more intergenerational play option. The ability to use mobile phones as controllers also make this accessible to those who aren't willing or able to splurge on expensive add-on cameras and controllers, although players need to be very careful as they wave their pricey phones in the air. The accuracy of scoring remains about where it has always been -- sort of mediocre -- but really no one cares. You're too busy trying to keep up and not look like a fool. Kids are still not being recognized properly on camera, so controllers with smaller children are recommended. All in all, there are some wonderful additions to Just Dance 2016. It's just unfortunate that UbiSoft cluttered them up with so many options that parents may not want their kids to access, rather than having a social section on the Main Menu to tuck those onto.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about dancing as a way to stay fit. How many calories does a half hour of dance burn vs. running or swimming?

  • Discuss personal privacy. Just Dance 2016 allows you to share your videos, so how does that fit into your family's Internet-use policy? If sharing is OK for your family, what are the rules about what you can share?

Game details

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

For kids who love dancing

Our editors recommend

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

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality and learning potential.

Learn how we rate