When I was 8 years old, the Smurfs debuted on TV, and they were a very big part of my siblings' and my TV-watching experience for years to follow. We made up games about Smurfs, and, once, I convinced an unsuspecting much-younger sister to go underwater in the swimming pool by promising her that she'd see Smurfs on the bottom of the pool. (She still hasn't forgiven me for their absence!) So, when given the opportunity to review The Smurfs Dance Party, I leaped at the chance, recruited my kids to dance with me, and we partied like it was 1980-something again!
And oh, did we laugh, and laugh, and laugh -- in fact, I think we did more laughing than dancing! The songs are so fun for kids and the grown-ups dancing along, especially the smurfed-up parodies like "Who Let the Smurfs Out?" or "Mr. Smurftastic." The game itself is much like the Just Dance games, with points for following the choreography correctly, but the game seems more lenient somehow when it comes to the moves, which feel simplified for kids. My daughter, Petunia, age 10, loved that there was a Katy Perry song ("One of the Boys"), and my son, Dash, age 6, really did not love the "Barbara Streisand" song, but I noticed that he played along anyway, which is remarkable, as he wanted nothing to do with other dance games we've tried. (He refused to be photographed playing it, though, so the picture at left is only of Petunia, who later invited a friend over to try it.)
Weighing the pros of this game, I especially like that it inspires movement, a big PLUS in my book, as opposed to passive, sit-there, point-and-shoot kinds of games. It's also silly fun, and I like that you can just play it for a song or two and enjoy it without some big hurdle to get over or level to pass.
As for cons, well, it's a game for kids, really. I can't see playing this on my own. (Just Dance, on the other hand...) And if you don't like Smurf music, well, you're outta luck. Lastly, since there are only 23 songs, too, I think it'll get old after a few more months, just like many other song-based games.
For age range, I'd recommend this for family play, from a preschooler who can hold the remote properly all the way through grandparents. I also think it'd be great for preteen sleepovers coupled with a screening of the movie or the old TV shows (just think of the theme: blue punch, blue ice cream, blueberries...). For entertainment value, I give it a 3.5 out of 5 stars -- fun, and lots of laughs, but a mid-range rating because the game is fixed to only 23 songs and not super-exciting graphics-wise. (In all fairness, I wouldn't rate Just Dance much better, though... The only dance game I prefer, because you advance to unlock more complicated numbers, is Michael Jackson: The Experience.)
You can purchase your own copy of The Smurfs Dance Party through this link at Amazon. Enjoy!