When I think of the holidays, I think about video games. Sounds odd, but it actually makes sense. Every year, I come up with holiday shopping lists and video games are on the list.
Since it's cold outside, it makes sense to hunker down in the house and play games together. Plus - if you play active games, you generate body heat and burn off some of the calories from holiday goodies.
I am a huge fan of fighting/adventure, fitness, and party games. Since I have young kids, party games are fantastic. Everyone can be involved and they are really simple to play.
We recently had the opportunity to review Just Dance 4 for the Nintendo Wii.
If you have children, then I'd recommend you consider the Just Dance games. They are fun and easy to play. Plus, everyone can get in the game.
I've played almost every version of Just Dance (1,2,3,4, Abba, Smurfs....) and they are all a little bit different. In this version (Just Dance 4) the playing experience is greatly improved.
Even though some of the dance moves are still tricky (especially for uncoordinated individuals like myself) the game seems to give you fewer "bad" marks and it's easier to get an okay score.
This makes a huge difference to the gaming experience. It's frustrating to get only bad scores and feel like your failing (think Dance, Dance Revolution!)
Even kids notice. My kids realized they were getting a lot of "OKs" but were excited when they got a few perfects. They would have been devastated to get nothing but red Xs.
The other really great part of this game was the multi-player options. If you have 4 Wii remotes, than 4 people can jump in and dance together. We only have 2, so we'd take turns dancing as teams in the multi-person dances. That was really fun, and would make this game perfect for Thanksgiving day!
Playing one person at a time is kind of like karaoke. It's fun but it's not really a group thing. When you can dance together as a team, that's a party game! And it's a much better alternative to lounging on the couch or watching football. The kids will love it and so will the adults.
Before I get to my favorite part of Just Dance 4, there were a few things I didn't like about it. My kids really loved the avatars (especially the robots) but I was less impressed with them. In my opinion, they were so-so, not really anything special but not a game changer.
What really bugged me was the music selection. In the past, I've really liked the music choices on Just Dance, but none of them really stood out to me this time. I was excited to see Justin Beiber and Selena Gomez, but the songs included weren't really my favorites.
I know that's being picky, but if I'm going to dance, I really want music that makes me want to dance. Again, my kids seemed to like the music selection and if any parents are wondering, I don't recall any inappropriate songs or lyrics.
That being said, there was a new component to Just Dance 4 that I found to be AWESOME. Yes, it was the fitness section. You can choose to play in a dance party format or in a fitness routine.
The routine changes as you go to make it harder or easier based on your performance. It alternates between exercise moves and dancing, switching up the music in-between. There is a warm up and cool down and it calculates your calories burned.
I really liked it. My kids didn't. They prefer the dance game.
All in all, Just Dance 4 is the type of game that has something for everyone. It would be great to whip out at a party, at a family gathering, or just on a cold Sunday evening with your kids.
You can get a good workout and have fun at the same time. As parents, we often try to limit "screen" time or video games, but this is a fun, interactive game that the whole family can get into. It's active (very active!) and it's a lot of fun. My kids wake up early and ask if they can play Just Dance before school and I say "yes." It's not a game you have to limit.
I hope your holidays are filled with plenty of active fun! There are only 5 weeks until Christmas, so if you're looking for Just Dance 4 - you can find it at Amazon. Last time I checked, it was eligible for free shipping.