Just Dance (Series) Review

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Posted: 8 months ago, last updated 2 weeks ago.

Author: Andy Robertson.

OverviewOverview

Dancing in front of each other isn’t something we often do in families. Just Dance is released with new songs and features each year. It gets parents, carers, children and even grandparents off the couch and dancing along with the on-screen moves. Players hold a motion-sensitive controller or stand in front of a camera (PlayStation Camera, Xbox Kinect Camera) that tracks how well they are pulling off each dance move. It’s super-simple, with on-screen dancers who demonstrate each move and a prompt of what’s next at the bottom.

With themed dancers depicted in silhouette and bright visuals, it’s doesn’t take itself or the competitive dancing too seriously. Giggling because you can’t get the moves right, or at parents strutting their stuff, Just Dance is a unique way to bring the family together to get fit and have a laugh.

Although the Just Dance games have developed over the years, you may want to pick one based on the songs they include. Like yearly greatest-hits albums, Just Dance picks popular songs from the year to dance to. There are also special editions focusing on Abba, Disney, hip and show tunes that can be a good option if you have fans of those genres.

Although the game is rated for children, it’s worth noting that the nature of some songs is more mature. Just Dance 2020 includes lyrics about alcohol and sex. There’s a ‘Kids Mode’ in recent versions of the game that provides dances tailored towards younger players and specially selected kid-friendly songs. There is also a Just Dance Kids series of the game with songs for even younger dancers.

Just Dance Now (iOS, Android, web browser, Apple TV or Chromecast) offers the Just Dance formula without the need for a console and lots of controllers. You load the Justdancenow.com page on your computer or television, then connect your smartphone app to play. The phone is your controller and you can play with as many people as you want, locally or online. After the free trial, you can purchase a VIP pass for a specified duration to access more of the 500 songs available.

DetailsDetails

Rating: PEGI 3+, ESRB EVERYONE 10+

Release Date: 17/11/2009, updated in 2020

Platforms: Android, Nintendo Switch, Nintendo Wii, Nintendo Wii U, PC, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Stadia, Web Browser, Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox One and iOS.

Genres: Physically Active and Rhythm.

 

CommitmentCommitment

Duration: It takes between 2 minutes and 6 minutes to play a round of this game. Although each dance takes a few minutes, perfecting them all will take a considerable time. There is then the competitive element to the game that extends things further.
 
Players: You can play with 6 players in the same room and up to 64 players online. 1–4 on PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Wii, Wii U and 1-6 on Xbox One with Kinect camera and Nintendo Switch. You can use your Smartphone as a controller for up to 6 players to save buying lots of gamepads.

Cross-Play: The World Dance Floor mode is an online competition where you compete in dances of 64 players across any platform to gain points on the leaderboard. There are special team and individual events (Team Battle) that you compete in. You can play this mode across any platform of the latest game. You see other people's names, country and in-game icon but there's no other communication. You need either an Unlimited Membership or play during the free Happy Hours event each day to access it.

CostsCosts

You can try this game in a free demo. Additional in-game purchases are offered for items that enhance the experience. This includes a regular subscription fee (known as a 'battle/season pass') to unlock access to reward items and other aspects of the game.

You can purchase more songs to dance to in-game. There is a drive towards the Just Dance Unlimited pass that gives you full access to 400 songs. This subscription can be for a varying length of time from as little as 24 hours if you are planning a party. There are also free Happy Hours events in the game that grant access to songs for an hour at a particular time of day.

You don’t need a paid subscription to play this game online.

Age RatingsAge Ratings

PEGI 3 with in-app purchases.

This game has been rated ESRB EVERYONE 10+.


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.

AccessibilityAccessibility

Pictogrammes help identify what the next move is in the choreography. You can play slower songs at simpler difficulty to lower cognitive pressure.

Difficulty

How you can adjust the challenge of play, and assistance the game offers when you fail or get stuck.

Select Difficulty: Select difficulty from a range of presets.

Adjust Speed: Adjust the overall speed of the game, or rewind play for a second attempt, to ease reaction times.

Assistance When Stuck: The game notices if you get stuck and provides assistance, such as skipping levels, hints or tutorials.

Reading

How much reading or listening comprehension is required, and how accessible this is.

Simple Minimal Reading: Minimal reading is required.

Large Clear Text: Text is large and clear, or can be adjusted to be.

Subtitles

Large Clear Subtitles: Subtitles are large and clear, or can be adjusted to be.

Any spoken content has subtitles: All spoken content has subtitles, or there is no speech in the game.

All Dialogue is Voiced: All of the game dialogue and narrative can be voiced.

Controls

How you control the game, different options for alternative inputs and whether you can remap these settings to suit your needs.

Motion

Motion Controls Available: You can use motion controls, tilting the controller to steer for example.

Motion Camera Optional: You can use a camera controller like Kinect or PlayStation Camera.

Rapid Pressing Optional: Quick, repeated button pressing not required or can be skipped or disabled.

Image

How you can adjust the visuals to suit your needs, and offer additional information if you can't hear the game.

Visibility

Bright Colourful Palette: Game uses bright colours and is generally high contrast.

Large Game Elements: Game characters and other elements are large and distinguishable.

Outline Interactive Elements: Characters, platforms and enemies can be outlined for visibility.

Clear Interface: The game navigation, maps and information are clear to read, large or adjustable.

Audio

How you can adjust the audio of the game and whether audio cues compensate for aspects of the game that are hard to see.

Visual Cues for Audio Events: Text or other visual indicators of audio events.

System Settings

Android has accessibility settings including ways to navigate and interact, although not all games support this. Nintendo Switch has some built-in features, including a lockable zoom, that can be used on all games. The Wii has a few helpful settings, like disable rumble, but you have to use gesture controls for most games and the system menu. The Wii U has some limited settings, such as disabling rumble and selecting mono audio. Windows has extensive accessibility features. Some, like colour correction, work with games. Lots of accessibility software can be used with PC games, from voice recognition to input device emulators. PlayStation 4 has a range of accessibility settings. Some are system only, some work in games (invert colours and button mapping). Stadia offers some system accessibility features. Tandem enables you to use two controllers to play one character. This also enables you to connect other controllers like the Xbox Adaptive Controller.

Xbox One has a system features, the excellent co-pilot share controls mode and adaptive controller support for all games. iOS has a very extensive suite of accessibility settings including ways to navigate with voice and comprehensive screen reading, though most of the features don't work with games... read more about system accessibility settings.

Supported by PlayabilityInitiative and accessibility contributors: Andy Robertson


 




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