We’ve had Kinect for a while now and have tried all three dance games – the hardcore favorite Dance Central, the club focused Dance Masters and the Hawaiian themed Dance Paradise. But the question is which of these games are best for a family? Well, for our family here’s how they each got on:
Dance Central has a steep learning curve and demands accurate moves from the player. To offset this it has a very good Break it Down tutorial mode to take you through each step. If you are serious about learning to dance properly this is a good bet. Dance Central also has the most family friendly dancers, and presents more of a hip-hop vibe.
Dance Central’s multiplayer modes are only turn-taking though, which means that this is not so good for family groups. Other dance games enable you to dance simultaneously with another player.
Dance Paradise uses the Xbox 360 avatars well. You can see yourself in avatar form on the screen dancing in real time – although this isn’t a one-to-one mapping. The dancing itself is more technical than the other Kinect dance games, and takes a bit of getting used to the “lanes” system. Once you master it though it is actually the easiest game. Dance Paradise does includes the original music videos to each song that make it less suitable for younger children.
Dance Paradise offers a good range of multiplayer modes that are good for families. For larger groups there is also a ten player mode where each person takes a turn on the dance floor.
Dance Masters places a video image of the player on the screen so they can see themselves in real time. The moves are fast and frantic and the tutorial is not as in depth – or song specific – as Dance Central. There is a lot of footwork involved in each dance, perhaps reflecting its roots in dance mat games. Dance Masters also has more scantily clothed dancers and has a grown-up club feel to it.
Dance Masters also has a good simultaneous two player mode that also has the novelty of seeing each player on screen.
Which Kinect dance game fits for your family depends how old your children are, and what you are looking for. If it’s serious dancing then Dance Central is hard to beat and if you have older kids then Dance Paradise is a lot of fun. For teenagers who want to recreate the club vibe at home there is Dance Masters. But if you want some casual dancing fun like we do there is still a lot of mileage back on the Wii with Just Dance 2.