Dance Juniors (Just Dance Kids) (Wii) Review

By Adam Riley 18.03.2011

Review for Dance Juniors (Just Dance Kids) on Wii

Just Dance, Just Dance 2 and Michael Jackson: The Experience have all shown that the dance genre has taken over from the instrument-based music games as the hottest thing on the market right now. After Just Dance 2’s enormous Western success, Nintendo itself is set to publish the game in Japan later this year, showin the extent of the popularity at the moment. Not wanting to leave youngsters out, though, or miss the opportunity for some extra money, Ubisoft has given LandHo! the task of creating Dance Juniors using the same formula, but tweaking it towards children.

To start off with straight away, those thinking that Dance Juniors will be some throw-away game that children get bored of the very same day it has been bought should be made aware of the fact that there are actually a whopping 42 songs included for not only the youngsters and teenagers, but also adults to shake along to. Throw in the fact that four people can dance with each other across the various modes on offer and suddenly the budget-priced product starts to look far more appealing. It is not even as if this is a cheaply made piece of software either, since Ubisoft has used professional choreographers to arrange each and every set of moves. Presentation is the key throughout, and the development team has hit the nail on the head in every respect.

For those wanting to jump into Dance Juniors (known as Just Dance Kids in the US) without any of the hassle related to picking specific songs, LandHo! has included four playlist sets with specific themes (Animals, Party, Funny, and Vacation), yet also left four empty playlists for users to create a set of their own favourite tracks to boot up immediately, with a maximum number of ten tracks allowed to be selected in each. In the main ‘Dance’ mode, though, all tracks are lined up left to right, ready to be chosen simply by tapping left or right on the Wii Remote. There are some filters included in order to sift out the songs specifically for little children and those for older folk, or the shuffle option can even be clicked to grab a song at random. All songs have been re-recorded to give them a far younger feel, so players should not expect the original artists to be blaring out of the television set. A few tracks have even been re-edited to remove potentially rude or suggestive lyrics in tracks meant for older gamers that youngsters may accidentally stumble across. Whilst it may seem odd to not have the original singers, considering there are some songs taken from children’s shows the disparity would be very noticeable, so in that regard it actually proves the best option to have all songs recorded in the same ‘children’s style’.

Screenshot for Dance Juniors (Just Dance Kids) on Wii

As with the two Just Dance games before it, and even Michael Jackson: The Experience on Wii, Dance Juniors has players holding the Wii Remote and attempting to copy the moves of the professional dancer in the middle of the screen. In the ‘Regular’ mode, little images of what dance manoeuvre is about to be carried out appear at the bottom of the screen, scrolling in from the right side, whilst lyrics show up in the bottom-left for those that fancy singing at the same time as dancing. Each player’s avatar is positioned in a different corner of the screen and a player’s personal icon will shake around when their Wii Remote is moved to identify who is who if already forgotten. The format does not change much in the Team High Score mode, yet here all of the scores from the Wii Remote waggling will be added together at the end of the song, with the objective being to get players to dance together and achieve the best score possible. The third mode, Freeze & Shake, is a clever addition that has participants losing points if they move the Wii Remote when ‘Freeze’ flashes on the screen, only being able to move once the on-screen ice breaks, and then being able to grab extra points when the game tells you to shake the controller.

The entire package screams ‘kids’ right from the funky silhouettes on the outer packaging to the crayon-esque drawings, the icons in the actual game and the avatars that can be chosen before the start of each song. There is no hiding where Dance Juniors is being aimed, no misrepresentation in the slightest, and everything, including the fun, upbeat menu music, will appeal to a wide audience due to its completely inoffensive nature. Anyone that wanted to share the fun of Just Dance and Michael Jackson: The Experience with their youngsters but were worried the song content would not appeal or might even be too offensive for younger ears can safely pick up Dance Juniors knowing that it offers the same level of enjoyment for up to four players, whilst remaining perfectly safe for the little ones.

Screenshot for Dance Juniors (Just Dance Kids) on Wii

Cubed3 Rating

8/10
Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10

Just Dance, Just Dance 2 and Michael Jackson: The Experience have all shown how popular the dance genre can be with adults, and now Ubisoft has proven that the same formula can successfully be transferred to a younger market sector. Dance Juniors takes all the best attributes of the previous move-and-groove Wii releases and marries them with a great range of re-recorded musical favourites.

Developer

LandHo!

Publisher

Ubisoft

Genre

Dance

Players

4

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

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