Just Dance 2018 is now here with an old-meets-new concept. It now includes a kid-friendly mode along with all of your favorite hit songs from 2017.
Platforms: PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Wii, Wii U, Nintendo Switch (version reviewed)
Release Date: October 27, 2017
Just Dance has been an easy favorite of many gamers over the years. It’s fun and easy to play, especially from the privacy of your own home. Asahd Khaled approves of the Just Dance 2018 party he received for his birthday, so that’s good enough for me to try as well.
Keeping in line with previous games, only 40 songs are available upon launch and the rest must be unlocked through Just Dance unlimited, which is offered as free three-month trial upon purchase. This can be purchased for $29.99, as well as other options such as a monthly pass. Personally, I feel it’s necessary to have the unlimited content. But even the bare bones of the game includes my favorites: Swish Swish, Despacito, and Naughty Girl.
At first glance, not much has changed. The game is still playable with the Joy-Cons on the Switch, Xbox Kinect, or the phone app. I received the Nintendo Switch version, so I will not be able to comment on the playability of the others mentioned.
I am a little old-fashioned still, so I do prefer playing games on my Wii U and Xbox One because the Nintendo Switch Joy-Con remotes have proven to be a little bit difficult for me to get used to. It was this game that was able to get me comfortable with the remotes, and I can say that I am now a huge fan of this method. Exactly the same as it’s predecessors, you hold the Joy-Cons while dancing and the Switch tracks your movements. No complaints here.
The most notable addition to the 2018 version is the Kids Mode. Honestly, I don’t even know what took them so long to come up with this, but I am glad they did. The mode has an almost completely different set of songs, with a handful of songs as kids’ versions of songs in the regular game modes. I played through all the kids’ songs as well, and the most enjoyable for me was Footloose and Ghostbusters, both classics that many kids should know.
What I most enjoyed about the new mode is that it allows for better parental control, if desired. Some of the songs on the regular modes do involve a little bit of booty shaking and other implied gestures, but this mode does not. Today, people of all backgrounds and ages play video games, and some parents may be concerned about what kind of content their children are exposed to. Just Dance 2018 does a great job of making this mode child-friendly and can remove that unnecessary stress from parents.
Another significant aspect of kid’s mode is the level of difficulty. As an older sister, I’m used to hearing my brother yell and moan in frustration from his bedroom because something is too hard for him. In this game mode, it’s almost impossible to fail a level. There are no negative or positive scores, just comments of “Yay,” “Wow,” or “Haha.” So along with removing content stresses for parents, Just Dance 2018 also removes the stress of winning or losing for children.
The Kids Mode is the only new mode to the game. The others are the same as previous titles, including the Sweat Playlist, Just Dance Unlimited, Dance Machine, World Dance Floor, Just Dance TV, and Dance Quest. The objectives are the same as the 2017 version. Avatars are the only unlockables in the game and are based on the songs that you play, meaning if you play the Nicki Minaj song, you receive an avatar that looks like her. These are not that important. I only changed my avatar twice during the whole game.
Now here comes the critical part of my review: the value of the game. Just Dance 2018 costs a full-priced $59.99. Plus, after three months, you have to pay $29.99 per year for the subscription to keep the unlimited content. That comes to be about $90 for the first year of gameplay, plus more to play longer. This for a game that does not have a real story mode and somewhat limited gameplay. Just Dance is the type of game you may play on and off for a month and then forget about unless you are a die-hard fan. And in the latter case, you may spend over $100 to get the full value of the title.
It’s hard to embrace that price point when recently Assassin’s Creed Origins, Wolfenstein II, and Super Mario Odyssey have all been released at that same price. These games all have a concrete story and different levels that require more advanced thinking and problem-solving strategies. Just Dance 2018 does not. Cut the price by half, and then we can talk. Although I do enjoy the Just Dance franchise, the replayability of the game is not equal to the high price.
Just Dance 2018Ubisoft
A copy of this game was provided to App Trigger for the purpose of this review. All scores are ranked out of 10, with .5 increments. Click here to learn more about our Review Policy.