A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
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What parents need to know
Parents need to know that The Smurfs Dance Party is a dancing game that forces players to get up and move as they follow along with the steps of on-screen Smurfs characters. Songs include originals like the Smurfs theme and "Smurfberry-licious," as well as humorous takes on pop songs such as "Who Lets the Smurfs Out" and "We Like to Smurf It." Players can also expect some unedited pop songs, such as "I Wanna Dance with Somebody" and "Just the Way You Are." The worst lyrics include flirtatious words, such as "sexy," but the overall experience remains very kid-friendly. Parents should note that this game is based on The Smurfs movie, and that it could incite in children a desire to see the film.
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What's it about?
THE SMURFS DANCE PARTY includes a story mode which takes players through a brief, truncated version of the Smurfs movie. In this story, the Smurfs find themselves in a weird new place called New York City and manage to find shelter in the home (or as the Smurfs call it, the "mushroom") of a friendly human couple. The Smurfs then search for a way back to their village while unknowingly coming face-to-face with obstacles set by their life-long nemesis Gargamel. Even though the story is presented in full, it is hardly fleshed out and takes a back seat to the actual gameplay and dancing modes.
Is it any good?
Players should not head into The Smurfs Dance Party expecting a sophisticated dance simulation game. But even with those low expectations, they will likely become frustrated with the seemingly random and disorganized scoring system in the game. Following the dance moves exactly as the Smurfs perform them on screen can result in few or no points, while shaking the controller randomly sometimes provide players with a perfect score.
This is not a recommended title for dance game connoisseurs. However, those who want a simple, casual game related to the movie may enjoy what it has to offer.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the role of video games in an active lifestyle. How do dancing video games compare to other forms of exercise? Do you feel like you are exercising when playing games that involve strenuous movement?
Families can also discuss some of the game's positive themes. How do you cope with being in new and strange places? Do you prefer working together with others, or by yourself?
Families can also discuss the role of villains in games. How does Gargamel justify his anger toward the Smurfs?
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