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Just Dance 2020
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 2020 is a rhythm/dancing game for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Nintendo Wii, and Google Stadia. The game, which is the latest installment in the Just Dance franchise, includes more than 40 pop songs from today and yesterday, and players can buy additional songs as downloadable content (DLC). Usually with a supported camera connected to the console (and/or motion-sensing controllers), the game tracks your own dance moves and provides a score based on how well you mimic the on-screen dancers. Some of the lyrics have mildly sexually suggestive references and profanity, and some allude to consuming alcohol.
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What's it about?
JUST DANCE 2020 is a rhythm game that challenges gamers to mimic the moves of the on-screen dancers. Depending on the console you own -- such as PlayStation 4, Google Stadia, Nintendo Switch, Nintendo Wii, or Xbox One -- a camera or sensor is usually placed just above or below the television. These will monitor your performance in front of the television and award you a score based on how well you match the pros. Even more fun than dancing solo: Players can have friends or family members join them to play with or against each other (or others online, too, if desired). Not only does Just Dance 2020 feature more than 40 tracks on the disc -- including hits like "I Don't Care" by Ed Sheeran & Justin Bieber, "bad guy" by Billie Eilish, and "Old Town Road (Remix)" by Lil Nas X ft. Billy Ray Cyrus -- but players can purchase additional songs to keep the party going. Young girls, in particular, may be excited to dance to the new song "Into the Unknown" from Disney's Frozen 2 (available Nov. 22, 2019, as a download). Not all of the games will support a camera to monitor moves in real time (the Nintendo Switch JoyCon controllers are held instead, for example), and there's an optional app, too.
Is it any good?
As long as you don't expect the experience to be different from previous games in this franchise, you'll have a blast, especially for those who like pop and dance songs. Along with dozens of today's popular tracks (like "7 Rings" by Ariana Grande) and yesterday's catchy tracks (like "Bangarang " by Skrillex ft. Sirah), Just Dance 2020 also includes "pop culture" favorites among little kids. Yes, even "Baby Shark." And it will soon have "Into the Unknown" from Disney's Frozen 2 available as a new downloadable track. That said, be forewarned that some songs have lyrics that allude to sex and drinking, so parents of young kids should select the Kids mode from the main menu for eight kid-friendly songs. It's smart of Ubisoft to include this option.
With the optional Just Dance Unlimited service, you can access more than 500 songs for $4.99/month (or less, if you commit to a longer period of time). A free one-month trial is included with the purchase of any version of the game. Options for your dance floor include creating a playlist with your favorite tracks and a challenging and online-only All-Stars mode (where you'll fly to virtual planets and perform 10 songs from past Just Dance games to unlock extra content). It also packs the return of "Sweat mode," which counts your calories; a co-op mode that lets you team up with friends; and an enhanced recommendation system that analyzes what kinds of songs you like and suggests related ones. While Ubisoft isn't offering anything new in the gameplay department, you can't beat the huge assortment of songs available, hundreds more with an optional song subscription, and several modes to indulge in. And it might just get kids off their tush and onto their feet with family and friends over the holidays.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about music appreciation. Can music affect our behavior or mood? What type of music gets you motivated or inspires you?
How do games like the Just Dance series encourage kids to get up off the couch and get active? Does dancing in a game encourage you to do more dancing in real life?
- Platforms: Google Stadia, Nintendo Switch, Nintendo Wii, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
- Price: $39.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: UbiSoft
- Release date: November 5, 2019
- Genre: Music & Dance
- Topics: Arts and Dance, Great Boy Role Models, Great Girl Role Models, Music and Sing-Along
- ESRB rating: E10+ for Mild Lyrics, Mild Suggestive Themes
- Last updated: December 03, 2019
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