Ubisoft's latest additions to the Just Dance family are Just Dance 2 and Just Dance Kids, and I was sent a copy of each to review, so I hosted a House Party to invite some friends over to try out the games. Sadly, I'm either A) painfully unpopular or B) have horrible luck in planning open house parties that coincide with everything from birthday parties and early company holiday parties to pre-Thanksgiving family vacations. I'm gonna go with B, just so I can face tomorrow. So only two families showed up, and of the two, only one family -- the Stimey crew -- even tried out the games.
The kids game was fun to watch, but having seen a dozen 5-to-9-year-old girls play it last week during my daughter's sixth birthday party, it's pretty clear to me that girls have more fun playing it than boys, who would apparently prefer to wrestle in the corner. A notable exception is Stimey's middle son Jack, who was happy to join in the jumping, sliding and shimmying. Unlike the girls at the Schmoopette's birthday party, who had to be physically removed from my basement to go upstairs for cupcakes, the Stimey boys and my three kids were ready to stop after just a few songs.
The problem, I think, is that even though Ubisoft separated the songs by age-group, the mere presence of the Alphabet Song and Yo Gabba Gabba selections will instantly lower the appeal for tweens, who may overlook the fact that there are plenty of pop songs (over 40 titles are in the game) available for them too. The young girls at my duaghter's party, however, just had to dance, and they didn't care if the song was babyish or Madonna's "Holiday" or '70s throwbacks like "YMCA."
The boys enjoyed it but for a much shorter time. They were also much pickier about their song selections than the girls. I recommend playing it with your kids, so they don't feel self-conscious about the dance moves.
But don't take my word for it; here's what my kids had to say about Just Dance Kids:
"It was fun, but if you're closer to being a teenager, some of the songs might seem a little babyish. There were a few songs for older kids, like Jackson Five song, 'Who Let the Dogs Out' and 'Kung Fu Fighting,' but then there's also 'ABC,' the Yo Gabba Gabba songs, and other songs for preschoolers. It's OK, but sometimes you have to do moves that are a little embarrassing. Most of the songs are for younger kids, so I would recommend it to younger kids who love music and don't mind dancing in front of people. Someone who's like 4, 5 or 6." -- The Schmoop, who turns nine in February
"I think it's fun. The grown-up one is kind of hard for kids. I liked playing with my friends on my birthday. Only four people can play, so you have to take turns if you're having a birthday party. You have to follow the person on the screen and dance like she or he is dancing. Sometimes it's hard for some kids to follow along." -- The Schmoopette, who's newly six
Giveaway time: To enter to win your very own Just Dance Kids for Wii (a $29.99 value), leave a comment with your family's favorite song to boogie down to together. Entries close at 11:59PM Nov. 29th. I'll contact the winner on November 30th. Good luck, friends!
Honesty clause: While Ubisoft provided a free review copy of the game, the opinions I've expressed here are solely my own and represent my honest viewpoint. Ubisoft, Clever Girls Collective and I promote Blog With Integrity.