Cubed3 Nintendo gaming, Wii and DS

The Smurfs Dance Party (Wii) Review

Review for The Smurfs Dance Party on Wii - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Can you hear that noise? It sounds like a 1950s cash register opening. It's the chime that Ubisoft heard when someone pitched a dance game - a genre that's generating a lot of revenue for the publisher at the moment - that also features the adorable mascots of latest big-budget animated feature The Smurfs. Cha-ching.

Yes, The Smurfs Dance Party is a cash-in, there's no denying that, but it's also a perfectly reasonable rhythm action dancing game based on the fundamentally solid basics of the Just Dance franchise. Featuring 24 ‘famous’ songs and filled with more small blue men that you could shake a Smurfberry stick at, the title ties into the movie through short clips lifted from the flick and a few roughly animated cutscenes in which Papa details his fellow Smurfs' journey to New York and back again. Between these are various excuses for dances to take place, from a catalogue of music that fans of the movie will love and everybody else will find really quite corny.

‘Walk This Way’, ‘Blame It On The Boogie’, ‘Barbara Streisand’ and Katy Perry's ‘One Of The Boys’ are some of the original hits, while almost half the offering is made up of tracks described as "smurftastic". Essentially these are covers with a few words changed, or wholly original Smurf compositions. Their names should give you a good idea of what you're in for, with such delights as ‘Gargamel’, ‘Who Let The Smurfs Out?’ and ‘Mr. Smurftastic’. Oddly, there's not many blues tracks among them (see what I did there?), but there's plenty of poppy urban stuff to keep the young entertained - which is, of course, who this release is squarely aimed at.

Screenshot for The Smurfs Dance Party on Wii - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

If you haven't played a Just Dance title before, the concept is pretty straightforward. With no camera to track the full motion of the body - à la Dance Central - it's down to just one Wii Remote in your right hand to do the hard work of checking how well you're busting grooves. In the bottom right-hand side of the screen are icons denoting which movement you need to make next, while a collection of Smurfs also boogie down along to the music. The system then uses the position of the controller and the motion sensors to determine if you pulled off the move successfully. For the most part it tracks well, though there's little feedback when you're doing something wrong. The dancing symbols can also be difficult to work out the first time you see them, meaning that it's rare that you'll perform a routine well the first or second time you play it.

Four players are supported, ensuring its popularity at Smurf-based parties and while the story mode - like the characters themselves - is on the short side, two dozen tunes in the regular ‘pick a track and dance to it’ mode provides enough variety for a few hours of play. Some parental guidance options are available too, tracking how long the title has been played, as well as how many calories have been burned while playing it.

While it's impossible to give a true opinion on the audio - it's based on musical taste after all - other than to say that it's decent in terms of fidelity, the visual aspect of The Smurfs Dance Party is comparatively weak. Character models look as if they've been taken straight from a dodgy Smurfs rip-off DVD that you might have found a few years back in the Woolworths bargain bin.

Screenshot for The Smurfs Dance Party on Wii - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review


It's Just Dance, with all that that entails. The Wii Remote is used well as an indicator of movement, but it can be difficult to tell which moves you need to perform next and The Smurfs Dance Party never gives decent feedback when you make a mistake.


Scenes from the movie are high quality and the animation of player models is fine, but they're very bulkily constructed, lending them a rough, unfinished quality.


Do you like songs about Smurfs? Then you will like The Smurfs Dance Party. Do you not? Then the opposite is true.


24 tracks should keep you busy for a while, but the game will begin to gather dust once you've mastered the routines.

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 6 out of 10


About this score

It's very easy for a critic to say "fans of X will enjoy X", but the phrase absolutely applies here. If you've no interest in Les Stroumpfs then there's nothing for you here, but if you enjoyed the movie and would like a dancing game based upon it, then you could do far worse than Ubisoft's latest money maker.

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C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  6/10

Reader Score

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European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date TBA   Australian release date Out now   

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There are no replies to this review yet. Why not be the first?
Squidboy (guest) 08.08.2011 21:12#1

They should have used cell animations in the movie, and consequently this. These CGI Smurfs are scarier than Gargamel.
It's a shame, I would have bought this, I like Smurfette.

I want a Snorks game.

AdamC3 (guest) 11.08.2011 09:14#2

I suppose I shouldn't mention how I have two Smurfs albums from the 1990s? Smurfs Go Pop and whatever the follow-up was...! Smilie

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