Game Review: Just Dance Kids (Wii)

As a follow up to the recent release of Just Dance 2, the folks at Ubisoft just released Just Dance Kids, targeted at the younger age set. With nearly the same gameplay as the previous titles, Just Dance Kids is a great game for families looking for a similar dance experience but with more age appropriate songs and lyrics. The disc features songs for the very young, like the hamster song, the chicken dance, and songs from the popular Wiggles and Yo Gabba Gabba shows. It also has broader classics that might even appeal to adults like YMCA and Surfin’ USA (although they are all rerecorded by kids singing.) With kid-friendly tunes and slightly easier choreography, Just Dance Kids is sure to be a hit in household full of kids, tweens, or even early teens.

Only a few changes make their way into this new version of Just Dance. The onscreen dancers are no longer motion-captured cartoons; they have been replaced by actual footage of several kids performing the moves. While I would have preferred some of the more popular songs to be performed by the original artists (many of the songs are rerecorded using kids’ voices) using younger singers does give the game a bit more kid-friendly vibe. Finally, there are a few new dance and party games designed just for kids. Younger kids in particular (and those young at heart) will enjoy the sort of “red-light-green-light” style game where you have to dance while the music is going and stop quickly whenever the music stops.

If you haven’t seen anything in the Just Dance rhythm genre, you owe it to yourself to check it out. While the original and sequel contain many current and classic pop songs, this new entry removes a final barrier to entry for more conservative households. The songs in Just Dance Kids will be recognizable to even the youngest players (anyone who still enjoys the occasional Wiggles or Yo Gabba Gabba show) and removes any concerns parents might have about the lyrics (primarily the subject matter, not any actual swear words) that can occasionally crop up in the original game.

Kid Factor:
This game really is friendly for nearly all ages. If a child can reliably hold a Wiimote in their hand without danger of throwing it around the room during a fit of dancing, they’ll get a kick out of Just Dance Kids. The songs have all been vetted for content and even the dance moves are fairly tame, making this an inoffensive title for nearly any household.

One Response to “Game Review: Just Dance Kids (Wii)”

  1. I bought this because my kids are always wanting to join in DDR but the pads are a little too big for them. This lets them do more hand movement type dancing and just run with it. There’s no “booing” or other discouraging in game remarks like in the DDR games either, which is a plus for my 4 year old who is easily turned off by negativity. She doesn’t usually play games either (while my 6 year old does) but really got into this one since it involves nothing but moving. It doesn’t track the moves with 100 percent accuracy but good enough to be playable (the first Just Dance game had horrible movement detection and was nearly unplayable). This game has been a hit with all the kids that have visited my house (from 3 to 9) and the adults usually have to try it out too. My only complaints are the fact that the backgrounds are extremely cheaply animated, giving the songs a cheap presentation, and the song selection. They could have easily licensed more kids music to make it more appealing (such as music from: The Doodlebops, Spongebob, Dora the Explorer, or popular songs that kids would know such as tunes appearing in the Shrek soundtracks, etc). For what it is though, it is very fun! Maybe a Disney version in the future?

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