Review of Just Dance 4 for the Xbox 360 Kinect

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I admit that many of our video games have been sitting in our TV console, collecting dust.  While I had dreams of spending the afternoons playing games with the kids, particularly the ones that encourage them to get up and move, we were growing bored of the ones that we have.  Many of the games that are designed for the Xbox 360 and Kinect are also difficult for my younger kids to interact with.  I was excited to try out the newly released Just Dance 4 to see if it was both entertaining, and easy enough for my youngest kids to use without my help. I was also pumped that we would review it in time to try it out with family for the Thanksgiving holiday!

First, the game itself was lots of fun.  There were dozens of songs, both from today's top hits list and those from my youth.  I loved that more modern hits featured modern dance moves, while the songs from my day (i.e., Rick Astley's "Never Gonna Give You Up") had dance moves that I remember learning in my own hip-hop dance class as a kid.  My kids were amazed that I knew the moves they didn't know.

The little guy doing a "partner" dance
The game has lots of songs that are primarily aimed at the tween and teen set; many songs are not something I would let my kids listen to personally, but they were "radio-safe", and there was no vulgar language to be concerned about.  Some of the moves, however, were "suggestive."  The remake of Britney Spears' "Oops! I Did It Again" involved lots of slinky routines that made my young boys uncomfortable; it was easy to skip those, however.

The biggest perk to this game is that it had us all playing together.  I haven't sweated quite like that in weeks, and I continued to play after the kids went to bed in exercise mode (called "just sweat".)  I could see this as a serious way to burn calories this winter.  The only thing that I really didn't like about this game, was that it was initially hard for younger kids to select songs from the main screen.  There was a recent update, however, that solves this problem; you can now select songs using the Xbox remote.

If you're a bit tired of how everyone at your family Thanksgiving get-together sits like lumps after the big feast, I would love to suggest to you that you consider bringing your Xbox 360 console and Kinect to the event.  This game, in particular, would be a hysterical way to get grownups and kids moving!  I already see a future for my family with "grownups vs. kids" in-between the dinner and dessert courses...

You can buy this game at retailers and, and its available for the Xbox 360, Wii, Playstation 3, and Wii U.  There are also some late-developing downloads you can add to your experience.  (I just found out that "Gangnam Style" is available for download to play this week!)