|Dev: Land Ho!|
|Release: November 9, 2010|
|Screen Resolution: 480p||Mild Lyrics|
Regardless of which mode you play, the gameplay in Just Dance Kids is mostly the same throughout. You can opt to play solo or in teams (2v2), or you can play in a mode call Freeze & Shake. Freeze & Shake simply tosses in occasional cues that tell specific players to either freeze (you lose points if you move while the cue is onscreen) or shake your Wii Remote for extra points.
Like previous Just Dance games, the accuracy of your movement isn't all that great. There were times when I was moving precisely along with the dancers onscreen, yet I'd only earn an "Ok" for a move. Conversely, I could merely move the Wii Remote up and down mindlessly and still get the occasional "Perfect" mark for a particular move. For really young kids, this might not be the biggest consideration, but the game mechanics certainly aren't going to help older kids become better dancers.
Additionally, Just Dance Kids' visual approach, though pretty to look at, doesn't help the gameplay along as well as previous games in the series. Whereas the silhouette dancers from past games highlighted the hand you were intended to follow, the live-action dancers in Just Dance Kids do not. You still get move markers that move along the bottom of the screen, cuing you to which moves are up next, but the dance moves themselves are every bit as challenging and exhausting as before.
Aesthetically, however, Just Dance Kids looks really good on Wii. The developers keep things simple, but the game has a wonderful polish from top to bottom. The dancers appear as live-action footage over colorful backgrounds, offering a playful presentation up-and-coming hip-hoppers are sure to enjoy.
As with any rhythm-game package, the sound and music are pretty darn integral to the overall experience. From a technical standpoint, the fidelity in Just Dance Kids sounds fine. The selection menus offer inviting audio cues, and the music comes across crisp and clear. Unfortunately, not only is the music selection out of date and downright hokey, you're not getting any of the original performances with the licensed tunes. All songs are sung by young kids, and regardless of what song you're dancing to, Just Dance Kids sounds like a collection of nursery rhymes.
Just Dance Kids isn't a bad game by any stretch of the imagination. I was left with the impression the developers put real effort into the software, but Just Dance Kids doesn't quite add up for me. As a parent of three children, I wouldn't be inspired to add this title to our collection. The game's got polish and TLC, but it's just not all that fun to play. I enjoyed Just Dance 2, however, and I believe in this series. I think they need to work on tightening up the mechanics a bit more, and if they could do a better job matching a stronger song selection with a more age-appropriate level of challenge, the next Just Dance Kids could be a real hit. This dance class, however, doesn't quite have all the right moves.
CCC Freelance Writer