Get your groove on.
Let’s get one thing out of the way from the offset – I’ve never played a Just Dance game up until recently, nor ever had any inclination to. In its eight-year lifespan, it simply hasn’t appealed to me at all. I was quite surprised then, to find that in the right environment and with the right people, Just Dance 2018 can be damn good fun.
Just Dance 2018 is about as straightforward as you’d expect. You simply follow along to the dance moves on screen as closely as possible, working up a sweat whilst reaching for that five-star rating. The songs specific to the 2018 edition are a selection of mostly pop-oriented music that I’m admittedly not too familiar with, though thankfully my partner was always there to provide an informed voice to help me out.
In addition to the base songs, you’re gifted a rather generous 90-day trial to Just Dance Unlimited, the subscription-based service granting you access to songs from previous titles in the series, plus a few exclusive tracks. Naturally, the first of these I gravitated towards was a charming little Super Mario medley, a celebration of Nintendo and Ubisoft’s recent collaboration. It’s nice to have such a vast selection of songs available from the start, but I dread to think how empty the game will feel when the three-month trial runs out.
The songs themselves are actually a lot more difficult than you’d expect, particularly if you’re a newcomer like me. I’d break a sweat after a few songs and my arms would ache from some of the more rigorous movements. To expand on this a bit, the game’s Unlimited service contains a section specifically for fitness routines. These songs can be brutal – understandably so – and if you’re after something to burn off a few pounds whilst genuinely having fun, you could do worse than Just Dance 2018.
On the other hand, the game is relatively lenient on your ability to dance correctly. I know for a fact that I’m no good at dancing – ask anyone – but I’d frequently earn 4/5 star ratings on most song titles with ease. It also comes to light that as long as you keep the Joy-Con in motion with the screen, you don’t actually need to move your legs or body at all. Obviously, this is borderline cheating and not something I’d encourage you to do, but it definitely highlights the game’s lack of proper instruction.
Alongside the main mode, children are also catered for with a specific ‘Kids’ mode. This contains songs and dance routines selected to specifically appeal to the 3-6 (ish) age range, although I must admit that I didn’t test this mode with its intended audience as I don’t want a child to swing my Joy-Con around, wrist strap or not. That’s a level of stress I’m just not prepared for.
I’m sure you’ve already made your mind up as to whether or not Just Dance 2018 deserves a spot in your Switch library. It’s a fairly basic experience, and once the Unlimited subscription trial runs out, I fear the game will be made rather redundant with such a limited number of base tracks. Still, it’s definitely worth a go if you can play it frequently with friends/family.
Just Dance 2018
Just Dance 2018 is an unremarkable addition to a tired series with little to entice returning players back into the fold. It’s a shame such a large portion of the game is hidden behind a pay wall, but newcomers will nevertheless find plenty here to be getting on with for a while, particularly if you play in a party environment with friends and family.