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Dance Central Review

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Posted: 3 weeks ago.

Author: @GeekDadGamer.


Dance Central is a dancing rhythm game you play by moving your body in front of the Xbox Kinect camera. The focus on full body movement celebrates accurate, well-timed and energetic moves. As opposed to Just Dance's rough choreography, Dance Central offers an exuberant swagger steeped in dance culture.

Play involves following on-screen characters' movements by dancing. You are prompted ahead of each move with flashcards. Each move is assessed for execution and if consecutive perfect moves are pulled off the arena changes and you gain more points. At the end of the routine you can earn up to 5 stars that are used to unlock other content.

The game is enjoyable because of its focus on proper dancing and a high bar for execution. But this isn't all about serious moves and endless practice, each song has a freestyle section where you dance however you want (and the game takes photos of you). There are also extensive fitness, practice and battle modes to extend the fun. You can check out your dance statistics to see how you are progressing. This includes the amount of time spent of the game to number of calories burned.

There are the following games in the series:
  • Dance Central (2010) on Xbox 360 Kinect
  • Dance Central 2 (2011) on Xbox 360 Kinect
  • Dance Central 3 (2012) on Xbox 360 Kinect
  • Dance Central Spotlight (2014) on Xbox One Kinect
  • Dance Central VR (2019) on Oculus Rift, Quest and Rift S using the headset and Oculus Touch controllers.

DetailsGame Details

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Skill Rating: 10-15 year-olds

Release Date: 04/11/2010

Platforms: Oculus, Xbox 360 and Xbox One

Genres: Action, Physically Active, Rhythm and Sports

Accessibility: 1 feature

Developer: Harmonix (@Harmonix)


Duration: It takes between 2 minutes and 5 minutes to play a round of this game.
Players: You can play with 2 players in the same room and up to 4 players online. Dance Battle: A competitive mode where two players go head-to-head for glory. One player goes at a time and the one with the highest score wins.
Dance Central 3 added the Throwdown mode where 2-8 players go head to head against each other, two at a time.

In Dance Central VR you can join public or private lounges for up to 4 players.


Additional in-game purchases are offered for items that enhance the experience.  

You need Xbox Live Gold to play online with Xbox 360.
You need to purchase a Xbox Live Gold subscription to play online with Xbox One. The early games in the series game with all the songs you could play. Later in the series you could purchase new songs as downloadable songs.

The final release, Dance Central Spotlight had the previous songs ported to it and could be purchased. If you previously purchased songs on older versions of Dance Central, you can re-downloaded on Spotlight at no extra charge.

Age RatingsAge Ratings

Content Rating

Rated PEGI 12 for occasional sexual innuendo, the occasional use of mild swearing and offensive language. Some of the music tracks used in the game contain occasional sexual innuendo and the occasional use of mild swearing '*!@?*' and offensive language '*!@?*'.
Users Interact: The game enables players to interact and communicate with each other, so may expose players to language usually associated with older rated games.

Additional music downloads and/or Streams not consider in the ratings.

Skill Rating

This game is enjoyed by 10-15 year-olds as it's a good match for their ability and maturity.

Account Rating

You need be 18-years-old to to subscribe to Xbox Live Gold for online play, but can then configure family accounts for younger players to play online with Xbox One.


Songs are divided into categories: Easy, Medium, and Hard. Only Easy is unlocked in the beginning, and the player earns the other difficulties as they move on. Only they do well, they can also unlock a "No Flashcards" mode that does not display the flashcards on screen.
Our Dance Central Accessibility Report documents 1 accessibility feature:

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Our experts have hand-picked the following similar games for you. These offer a similar way to play to Dance Central or are games with a similar theme or topic. These are good alternative games to Dance Central, or are a younger rated alternative for players not ready for PEGI 12 or ESRB TEEN games.

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