Game Review: The Smurfs Dance Party (Wii)

After starring in the recent summer animated movie, the Smurfs are ready to party! You’re invited to smurf along with Papa Smurf, Smurfette, Grouchy, Brainy, and even Gargamel in this all-ages dance game for Nintendo Wii.

The Smurfs Dance Party has three modes of play. In Story Mode, Papa Smurf tells the story of the new movie and how he and the other Smurfs escaped from Gargamel in New York City. At certain points you’ll dance along on stage as Papa spins the tale. In Dance Mode, you can pick any song you want to dance to, and there are three ways to groove. Regular is the normal game, Team Mode has up to four players co-operating for the score, and in Freeze & Shake, you must freeze or shake the Wii remote really hard when the game prompts you to. Finally is Playlist Mode, where you can dance along to preset playlists of songs, or make your own.

To dance, just hold the Wii remote in your right hand, and follow the picture cues of how you’re supposed to move on the bottom. Or watch the Smurfs and match their movements. Their right hands will sparkle to let you know how the Wii remote should be held. The closer your moves are to the beat of the song, the higher your score and rating will be. Only problem is it’s sometimes a little hard to know when you’re doing a move right. But the game really doesn’t penalize you for anything, so it doesn’t matter much.

The game has nearly two dozen songs. Some are specific to the game, like the Smurfs theme song (Laa, laaa, la-la, la laaa…). Others are smurfy renditions of familiar songs with Smurf lyrics thrown in, like “Who Let the Smurfs Out” or “Mr. Smurftastic.” There are also a selection of pop tunes like “Just the Way You Are” and Katy Perry’s “One of the Boys.”

Parents, there’s even a special section in the game menu where you can track your child’s progress through the game, how long they’ve played, what awards they’ve unlocked, and even how many calories they’ve burned. So if your kids loved the new Smurfs movie and enjoy games like Just Dance (made by the same people), then you may want to check out this one.

Kid Factor:

The Smurfs Dance Party is rated E for Everyone with an ESRB descriptor of Mild Lyrics, but it’s nothing worse than what you hear on the radio. There is no reading required, as there are picture cues and voice overs to go with all the text and instructions. Plus, the game won’t frustrate little ones, as you don’t get penalized or held back in the game, no matter how much you may be like Clumsy. So kids of all ages can just have fun dancing.

It’s only a shame that Jokey Smurf isn’t in the game, he was always my favorite. Of course, I never really liked the Smurfs TV show. I only watched it as a kid because it came on right before the Pac-Man Saturday morning cartoon.

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