I hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving holiday! Thanksgiving night we decided to brave it and had five of our son's cousins spend the night. So we had seven kids bouncing around the house but still managed to get some Black Friday shopping in. Go us!
It would of been the perfect time to test out the Wii U Just Dance Kids 2014 with such a variety of kids around but time just flew by with everyone needing to eat and get back home. So we tested it out when things were a bit calmer with just three kids around (a 7 and two 3 year old boys). This was our first time trying any dance video game and they loved it!
Just Dance Kids 2014 has you mimic popular kid's songs by holding the Wii remote in your right hand and copying the dancer in the video to earn points for correct moves. The dancer's glowing hand shows you the exact position your hand holding the Wii remote needs to be in. There are also drawn figures at the bottom of the screen that show what position is coming up next so you can prepare your next dance move. My 7 year old wasn't sure which he should be following but seemed to like to copy the drawn figures more. After all, as long as your remote is in the correct position it doesn't really matter if you look like Beyoncé dancing. Of course to make the game more fun you should try to learn the moves and sync them with the gameplay.
Oops, he didn't know I was taping him and got mad. LOL.
When you first get into Just Dance Kids 2014 you can choose between “Dance” and “Parents”. In the “Parents” mode you can view the “Play Tracker” which shows you the date, how long your kids played, how many songs they played, and even how many calories they burned while playing. Wow. Hidden exercise is great! I even played a while with the kids and I could definently feel a sweat working up after a few songs. Granted I don't exercise much. You can also view their progress which shows the top score in each of the modes as well as the medals they have earned for completing certain tasks. You can even choose to turn song lyrics on or off. I love being able to see what the actual words to songs are because sometimes you just can't understand what they are singing these days.
In the “Dance” mode you get select between “Songs”, “Playlists”, and “Non-Stop Shuffle”. “Songs” is where can select from the 31 available songs and view their difficulty and energy levels. There is a great variety of songs for both boys and girls, younger and older children. There's songs from The Wiggles and Yo Gabba Gabba for the little ones as well as nursery rhymes like Mary Had A Little Lamb. Older children will love songs from One Direction and Demi Lovato and can contend with songs for the whole family like Shout. There is a little bit of something for everybody.
In “Playlists” you can select from several predefined lists that include the following: Dance Workout, Easy, Hard, Just Duets, Users Playlists, Younger kids, Older kids, and For the Whole Family. The playlists allow you to control what type of music your children are listening to – making sure it is age appropriate.
In “Non-Stop Shuffle” you get to select the mode (Just dance, Freeze & Shake, Team high score), Time (15, 30, 60, 120 minutes, or nonstop), and songs (Younger Songs, Older Songs, Easy Songs, Hard Songs, or All Songs). I think the non-stop shuffle mode is perfect for when you want to work out for a specific amount of time or are limiting how long the kids are glued to the TV for (which could be all day if you let them).
For each song you get to choose between the modes “Freeze & Shake”, “Just Dance”, and “Team High Score”. “Freeze & Shake” is basically adding another element to the song. Besides just following along with the dancer you have to pay attention to your avatar to see when you are supposed to freeze or shake.
Your avatar's picture will show a stop sign when you have to freeze in the middle of the song no matter what the dancer is doing. And will show the Wii remote in the avatars place when you have to shake. My 7 year old didn't like this extra function. Probably too much to keep up with for his age, but I bet older kids would love it.
“Just Dance” is just normal game play getting points for correct dance moves while “Team High Score” is adding the score of two players together. Also, during gameplay another person can be in “Dance Director” mode on the Wii Pad and make the people playing do silly dance steps in the middle of the game. Like dance like a dinosaur, zombie, cheerleader, or hula dancer, and more. All the kids seemed to love this. You get extra points for doing this right.
All of the boys had fun while playing Just Dance Kids 2014. The 3 year olds liked attempting dance moves. While it was a bit hard for them to follow the moves
exactly they were able to rack up some points and most of all had a blast trying. My 7 year old loved trying to rack up enough points and raise his star level. He was so happy when he got his first 4 stars he had me take a picture of it.
Overall, I think Just Dance Kids 2014 is great for exercise and perfect for such a wide range of kids (especially those they have never played a dance game before and younger children).