Dance Paradise for Kinect manages to create its own unique brand of dancing fun by combining elements of many of the most popular recent music games. Families will use dance moves to control the gameplay to score points or battle opponents.
In the game, one or two players at a time will mimic the onscreen dance moves of stick-figure like characters at various times throughout the song. These dancing stick figures will slide toward the front of the screen on one of four colored pathways. By leaning to the left or right, players will need to line up with the correct track as the figure reaches the spotlight circle, and then start silhouetting their dance moves in time with the music.
This gameplay style actually reminds us of a few different other games we’ve played before. It is absolutely not necessary for you to have played any of these videogame music games we’re about to mention, but if you have, then these following points of reference might prove useful. A good way to think about the gameplay of Dance Paradise is that it’s sort of a combination of Just Dance and Guitar Hero. Not only do you have to do the right dance moves at the right time, but you need to make sure you’re lined up on the right colored track as well.
This way of controlling the game is very interesting, and definitely sets Dance Paradise apart from other dance titles we’ve played. In other games it seems as if the game is trying to help you succeed in becoming a better dancer by encouraging you to complete cohesive routines to have success. But in Dance Paradise, it feels as if you are using dance moves to control the game, and not necessarily just performing a routine along with the music.
There is a tutorial the first time you play through Dance Paradise, which does a good job of teaching players basic dance moves and the overall concept of switching tracks. We also really liked how we could immediately access all the songs in freeplay mode, we didn’t have to worry about unlocking music.
Dance Paradise has great two-player options. Players can dance side-by-side in one of three different modes. Versus mode is a straight battle based on gathering the most points, and Synchro mode encourages players to move in time with each other. But the real interesting multiplayer aspect in Dance Paradise is Attack Mode, in which two players go head to head and can acquire special items to use against their opponent. These items can be strategically used to do things like freezing your opponent, making them move tracks, stealing points and more.
Even though the game is rated T for Teen, from a pure gameplay perspective we think that tweens as young as 9 or 10 will really enjoy the game. The main reason for the T rating is due to the sexual content of some of the music videos and songs that you dance along to. A few also feature references to alcohol. We’ve included the full song list below.
Dance Paradise is much more accessible for families with tweens and up than other dance games we’ve played for Kinect. The unique gameplay style won’t teach you new routines or have you feeling like a professional dancer, but it will have you doing many types of dance moves to score points, and in some cases battle your opponent. It’s a perfect Kinect title that can be played competitively or cooperatively by families who like to Let Loose. Since the songs are the main reason for the T rating, we think Dance Paradise is fine for parents to play along with Tweens as they can monitor the music that is being played. But we’d recommend only letting teens and up play this game alone.
Dance Paradise Song List:
50 Cent – In da club
Akon – Bellydancer
Atomic Kitten – Ladies Night
Brick & Lace – Love is wicked
Caesars – Jerk It Out
Cassius – The sound of violence
Cassius – Toop toop
Daft Punk – Around the world
David Guetta ft Kelly Rowland – When love takes over
Debi Nova – Drummer boy
Empire of the sun – Walking on a dream
Fall out boy – Dance Dance
Frankie goes to hollywood – REMIX Relax REMIX
Geri Halliwell – It’s raining men
Gwen Stefani – Hollaback Girl
Gwen Stefani – What you are waiting for
Kenna – Say goodbye to love
Kevin Rudolf ft Lil Wayne – Let it rock
Kool & the Gang – Celebration
Lady Gaga – Bad Romance
Lady Gaga – Poker Face
Laroux – Bulletproof
Lil Wayne ft. Static – Lollipop
Lily Allen – F*** You
MC Hammer – Can’t Touch This
Mika – Lollipop
Mika – We are Golden
Nelly – Hot in Herre
No Doubt – Hey Baby
Orianthi – According to you
Pixie lott – Mama do
Pussycat Dolls – When I grow up
Rihanna – Disturbia
Shaggy – Hey sexy lady
Snoop Dogg ft Pharrell – Beautiful
Sophie Ellis bextor – Murder on the dancefloor
Starsailor – Four to the Floor
Supergrass – Alright
Taio Cruz – Break Your heart
Yelle – A cause des garçons