|Dev: Land Ho!|
|Release: November 9, 2010|
|Screen Resolution: 480p||Mild Lyrics|
by Tony Capri
If you've found yourself having a good time with Just Dance and/or Just Dance 2, it's now time to share the experience with the young ones. Ubisoft aims to give everyone a dose of this latest brand of party fun, but is Just Dance Kids a worthy legacy for the next generation?
Much like its older siblings, Just Dance Kids is a simple package designed for easy access. You've got just three main components that make up the package – Dance, Play Lists, and Parents – but for the asking price (about $30 at retail), it's not light on content. The presentation is streamlined and attractive, and the premise is simple and straightforward.
If you've yet to hop on this virtual dance floor, Just Dance is a rhythm game that has you mimicking the motions of onscreen dancers. You simply hold your Wii Remote in an upright position (with the A button facing yourself), mirroring the moves in sync with the music. Though the mechanics are easy to wrap your head around, each dance requires loads of practice in order garner high scores.
Just Dance Kids doesn't tone down the difficulty much, which is surprising considering the target audience. Though the selection is divided between songs for older and younger kids, the music likely won't appeal to anyone over the age of eight. Therefore, the challenge level of almost all of the dance numbers makes it almost impossible for kids to do more than flail about to the music. Preschoolers will likely get the most entertainment value out of the package, but Just Dance Kids has little potential as viable party game for younger gamers.
In Dance mode, you have just under fifty songs to choose from, each ranked by dance-move difficulty and the amount of physical workout you'll receive. Songs range from typical classics, such as ABC by the Jackson 5, to Happy Birthday and I'll Be Working on the Railroad. Regardless of your taste in music, the song list is weatherworn in the extreme; Funkytown was perhaps fun to groove to back in the 80s while roller skating, but it's not something any kid should be subjected to in 2010.
In Play List mode, you're dipping from the same selection of songs, though the dances are strung together to create medleys based on various themes, such as animals, humor, and a general party setting. Play Lists is an inspired addition, and kids can even create their own dance selections. Unfortunately, there's no online store to allow you to spruce up the set list from time to time, but it's wholly understandable considering the demographic Just Dance Kids is aimed at.
Lastly, the package includes a component called Parents. Here you can track your kid's play time, how many calories they've burned, when they last played, and how many times they've played a particular song. You can also take a look at high scores, as well as view a detailed tutorial. One of the more interesting parts of the Parents section is called Philosophy, where Ubisoft explains to parents their inspiration and motives behind the game; an odd addition perhaps, but it's kind of endearing at the same time.