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My son loves to try and have a go when we are playing the Just Dance range of games and so when I spotted Dance Juniors for sale for just £6.99 on play.com before Christmas it was an automatic buy so that he would have a dance game which was aimed at children to have a go at.
The game is presented like any other wii game really in a white box which in this case is decorated with silhouettes of dancing figures and stars. The box is colourful and looks like it would be for children even before you look in to things a bit more. We are told on the front of the box that the game has over forty tracks to choose from which range from things like the YMCA to who let the dogs out to some songs by the Wiggles! The box is made by Ubisoft, the same people who make the Just Dance games and so there are obviously going to be some comparisons between the two.
When you load the game you are given a main menu which looks similar to that on Just Dance really and which gives three options being dance, playlists or parents. When you go on to the dance mode you are free to scroll through the songs and choose whichever you want to dance to and so this is what we tend to play the most. When you opt to use the playlist you can either use a pre programmed play list or create your own list of songs to which you want to dance. The parents section really just holds information about how your child is playing the game and what their favourite songs are and so this is not something I really bother going on because I am aware of which songs my son likes and dislikes simply from playing the game with him. Other elements included in the parent section do include a calorie tracker which is something I am not really all that comfortable with personally as I just see it as a game in which my son can have some fun rather than a way to burn calories!
As I mentioned we do tend to play the dance mode most often because here you can simply choose a song you want to dance to. A nice little feature which would be handy for some people is there is a filter button designed to separate songs which would be suitable for younger and then older players. My son refuses to accept that maybe he should choose something from the younger category and just plays which ever song he likes but if we were to have friends over with younger children it would be a nice option to be able to use. Under each song there is a scale which tells you how difficult a song is and how much effort is required to do the dance. This is something that my son and I are familiar with from the Just Dance games and I do think it is a good feature because if you are feeling particularly energetic you can look for a high energy dance to do!
The songs featured in the game range from being pop songs to those featured on TV shows such as the Wiggles and old songs such as the wheels on the bus or Old Macdonald had a farm. I have to say here that there are very few songs which I would call current on the game and so my son doesn't really know many of them at all apart from Kung Fu Fighting and who let the dogs out which are definitely two of his favourites on the game. As we have played the game I have found that although we do try and mix it up a little we do often dance to the same songs with me often choosing a Wiggles song such as Can you (point your fingers and do the twist) for old times sake! These songs are often fun to dance to and we can have a laugh as we do it which I think is the most important thing about a game such as this. I do think it is a shame that the game couldn't have put a few more current songs on there but I guess this is coming from someone who owns the Just Dance games and at the end of the day this is a children's dance game after all.
There are various game modes in the game and so my son and I are able to dance together in the multi player mode to accumulate a joint high score which is something that my son likes to do because whenever he played with me on Just Dance he would always get beat score wise as the routines were obviously hard for a child to keep up with. You can however still play head to head with this game but it is not something we really do very often at all.
The dances are shown on the screen by a child actually doing the dance rather than a computer generated figure like on Just Dance which I think is a nice thing personally as a child can see another child actually performing and it may give them a bit more confidence. As an adult looking on I have to say that some of the expressions on the children's faces as they dance is hilarious! The graphics in the game are pretty basic to be honest and basically show the child dancing in front of a scene. There is nothing fancy about them at all. The dance routines are by no means easy for the most part I don't think but they do seem to have repetition in them which makes it easier for a child to grasp certain parts of it I feel. I have done some of the dances and managed to mess it up as an adult but I guess that is all part of the fun and at the end of the day this game is all about my son having some fun and so if that means seeing me mess up a dance then so be it!
Having looked online for a current price for this game it would seem most places seem to be stocking it for around the twenty pounds mark rather than the bargain price of £6.99 that I purchased it for. Whilst I do like the game I do have to say that my son is just as happy having a go on Just Dance as he is playing this game and so I wouldn't really say purchase it at such a high price unless you don't own any of the Just Dance games and are looking for something which is specifically child orientated. Whilst the game is good for children I do think that all of the family can have a go at Just Dance, in particular the first two games which are selling from £12.99 at the moment.
Thank you for reading my review!