Sass to the beat.Dance Central
is a launch title developed by Harmonix
for the Xbox 360
's new motion controller, Kinect. This dancing game involves moving your body according to the indicators, but thanks to the sensors on the camera, it can read your whole body. This both adds more movement required for the player, but also means the moves had to be simplified compared to other dancing games to avoid physical strain.
The soundtrack is a bit narrower than other dance games, where most of the songs have a variety with the 2000s, but the songs from The Eighties
and The Nineties
are almost all hip hop, likely to fit with the urban dancing mood of the game.
The game also lacks local multiplayer, although it doesn't prevent friends from dancing along with you.
A sequel, Dance Central 2,
was released on October 21, 2011 in Europe and October 25 in North America. It improves upon the original by adding true two-player gameplay in both competitive and cooperative modes, as well as a more in-depth practice mode, allowing players to select specific moves in a routine. Additionally, users can import songs from the original game, both on-disc and downloadable.Dance Central 3
was released on October 16, 2012.Dance Central Spotlight
was released on September 2, 2014 for the XBOX One as a download-only title.
Compare Just Dance
, Dance Masters
, Dance Paradise
, We Cheer
This game provides examples of:
- All There in the Manual: Each crew member has a Twitter account, but only one is a legit account made by Harmonix themselves.
- All Your Base Are Belong to Us: After Flash4wrd's era in DC3's story mode, DCI HQ was hacked by Dr. Tan.
- And Your Reward Is Clothes: There are alternate costumes to unlock.
- April Fools' Day: In 2013, Dance Central Blackout, where the player has to rely on audio cues from a headset instead of visual cues.
- Art Shift: The model in the upcoming Dance Central Spotlight looks notably different from the usual.
- Book Ends: The song list of the first game starts with "Poker Face" and ends with "Just Dance", both Lady Gaga songs, and both of which are from her debut album "The Fame".
- Boss Rush: The showdown with Dr. Tan and his minion in the second game onwards, where you have to dance the rep songs/era songs of all the dance crews in a row. Lampshaded by Dr. Tan himself in DC2 who calls the showdown "another boss to battle".
- Downloadable Content: Several songs can be bought and downloaded.
- Dueling Games: Is a dance Kinect game on the 360 along with Dance Masters and Dance Paradise.
- Exergaming: There is a mode to track calorie counting.
- Follow the Leader: Made after the runaway success of Just Dance.
- Friendly Rival: Almost every dance crew in Dance Central 2 has this with the other crews.
- Gameplay and Story Segregation: DC3's story mode, where it's said that creativity (swag) is more important than methodical dancing. In a rhythm game where dancing not according to prompt costs you points.
- Gameplay and Story Integration: There are two places in said story mode where you need to dance freely to progress. These sections have no flash card prompts.
- Harder Than Hard: A majority of the higher tiered songs in Dance Central 2, 3, and it's DLC. It takes a lot more than just practicing the routines through Rehearse. Some moves are just way too fast, such as the Toe Tapper move in OMG. which also is labeled as the hardest song not just in Dance Central 3, but the entire series. You're even awarded an achievement for 5 starring the song.
- Idiosyncratic Difficulty Levels: In DC3, the seven levels of song difficulties are thus named: Warm-Up, Simple, Moderate, Tough, Legit, Hardcore, Off The Hook.
- Instant Awesome, Just Add Ninja: Ttiw Tolrep, aka "The Pink Ninja" this was changed to Shinju and added Kichi aka "The Blue Ninja" in the second game onwards.
- Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Some dancers make remarks on stars, scores and other geeky stuffs after dances.
- Mad Libs Dialogue: The announcer in practice ("Rehearse") mode.
- Usher Voices the practice mode in DC3, in addition to having several songs in each game.
- Old Save Bonus: If you own older Dance Central games, you can import their songs into newer games (for a fee).
- Painting the Fourth Wall: At the start of DC3's story mode, a laser beam scans the player at DCI HQ. At the same time, the Kinect sensor also moves up and down.
- Sequel Difficulty Spike: Dance Central's difficulty spike became more obvious during Dance Central 2, and even more so in 3. Harmonix was well aware that the fans wanted complex routines and boy oh boy, it shows.
- Self-Imposed Challenge: Trying to get 5 stars in a song with the flashcards off.
- Or gold stars, for that matter.
- Shout-Out: Many of the retro character and costume designs in Dance Central 3 were meant to be based off of real life celebrities.
- Miss Aubrey's 70's look was supposed to resemble that of Farrah Fawcett.
- Glitch's 80's outfit is reminiscent of Michael Jackson's outfit in his [[Music/Thriller]] music video, while Mo looks like 
- Flash4wrd's flashy, colorful 90's outfits resemble those of TLC (who actually appear in-game with their song "Ain't 2 Proud 2 Beg")
- Emilia's 2000's look is a nod to Vanessa Minnillo, while Bodie in his 2000's look looks like Aaron Carter.
- Stock Poses: Some of the dancing moves are well known poses, likely Just for Fun.
- Time Travel: The storyline of the third game involves this.
- Unlockable Content: Costumes and songs can be unlocked.
- Virtual Paper Doll: Multiple costumes are available for the characters.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Dare, Oblio, and Maccoy are absent from Dance Central 2. Subverted in that the third game brings them back as playable, unlockable characters and explains where they've been. Dare and Maccoy have been captured by Dr. Tan, and Oblio is revealed to be Dr. Tan's son and is under his mind control (that is, until the player breaks him free through some dance offs).