A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
The game gets players physically active with their dance moves, while also teaching players music appreciation, choreography, and rhythm.
The game is all about having fun with dance and music, which encourages physical activity, practice to learn new moves, and building self-confidence needed to perform. The multiplayer also helps with social skills, teamwork, friendly competition, and simply enjoying group activities.
Positive Role Models
Players are essentially just mimicking onscreen avatars. There's not any interaction that would represent positive or negative role models.
Ease of Play
The most current generation of consoles focuses on use of the game's mobile app, a separate download, for controlling the game. While effective in a broad sense, it's not always the most accurate measure of motion and the connection to the mobile device can be easily lost.
Sex, Romance & Nudity
A few included songs include mildly suggestive lyrics.
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Some very mild language ("damn" and "hell") occasionally appears in lyrics of some songs.
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Products & Purchases
While the game includes a built-in 40 song library, it also regularly pushes players to purchase a subscription to the Just Dance Unlimited service, which makes additional content available at a price ranging from $2.99 USD for 24 hours to $24.99 USD for one year. It's also the latest chapter in the long running franchise.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Just Dance 2021 is a rhythm-based music and dance game available on Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, and Stadia gaming platforms. This is the latest chapter in the Just Dance franchise. Players use motion controls and a mobile app to mimic onscreen choreography in time with any of the game's 40 included pop songs. The game includes options for solo performances or group play for up to six people, as well as casual fun or exercise routines. Although there can be some issues with connecting the mobile app to the game, the controls are generally easy to pick up and play for gamers of all ages and skill levels. Some included songs' lyrics do contain mild profanity and suggestive lyrics. The game also regularly promotes the purchase of an additional Just Dance Unlimited pass, adding a wide range of new songs and dance routines for an additional cost.
Is It Any Good?
They say music makes the world go round, and this series has helped fuel that movement for more than ten years. For Just Dance 2021, the series makes its "next-gen" debut alongside the current generation consoles. But rather than huge strides or revolutionary changes, the game sticks close to its formula with little refinements here and there. The World Dance Floor, for example, feels smoother when challenging other players to an online dance off. There's also a new quickplay feature that lets players choose a mode and jump right in the action with a randomized playlist. This is particularly fun when playing with groups, as everyone waits to see which track is next, usually to a room full of groans or cheers. Sweat Mode feels the same as before, giving players a running tally of estimated caloric burn and time spent dancing. It makes for a great little extra workout routine and, when done correctly, definitely leaves players "feeling the burn."
One big focus this year is integration with the Just Dance mobile app, available for Android and iOS based devices. The next-gen versions of the game don't feature camera support, leaving the app as the only available way to register movement. After syncing up with the game, players can use the phone to scroll through menus, choose songs, etc. Then, once the dancing is ready to start, players simply hold the device in their right hand and let it do its motion sensing work. The problem here is more an issue with the differences between devices more than anything. Some phones might be larger and less comfortable to hold while swinging around to the music. Others might have less responsive hardware that can occasionally throw off accuracy. Finally, connection issues can creep up if the phone enters sleep mode or a player accidentally touches the screen and interrupts play. But more often than not, things work great and, before long, you're tearing up the dance floor with friends and family in a fun, active, groovy sort of way.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.