Just Dance 2018 is the type of game that anyone can play, from your grandparents who think games are stupid, to small kids who just want to groove to some beats. It’s genius is in its simplicity and accessibility, and anyone who has played a previous version will know what to expect. It is the Call of Duty of party games that keeps fans coming back. Pick your favorite song, and let’s get ready to dance.
Just Dance 2018 has three modes. The first is a Kids mode. It is easier, has songs without naughty words or themes, and won’t allow little Johnny or Suzy to post videos of themselves to Facebook.
The second is the regular Just Dance mode. For me, this is the meat and potatoes of the game that most people will know. You pick a song. You dance your butt off to that song, and you score more points than the uncoordinated blobs you call friends and family.
The final mode is the World Dance Floor. This allows you to compete against other overly confident dancers online. Your score determines your ranking and beating strangers is almost as satisfying as beating people in your own living room.
In order to wave your hands in the air like you just don’t care, you have to pick from one of three control modes. The first is using an app on your phone. Most people have a phone, and this is the easiest way to ensure you have enough controllers to play. Your phone screen is a controller to select and continue, and the speaker is used as well.
The obvious downside is that you are waving a heavy and expensive device near your TV and at the floor. I would not give it to a kid to use either. Everyone wants to upgrade to a new phone, but a slip from a sweaty palm is not the best reason.
The second way to control the game is with the PlayStation Camera. There are four spots for people to join, and you can move the camera to better show all the players. For me, it was not the most accurate, but it was good for adults.
It would not recognize smaller children. My five year old would not register unless I lifted him up, but that is not happening every time. Fortunately, bigger kids should be fine.
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The final way to control the game was through the PlayStation Move controllers, and this was my favorite. It was easy to use, and I do not have to sell an organ to buy a new device if it breaks. The light on the controller would pulse with the song, so that was another nice effect.
You are limited to using one control type at a time, and you cannot mix and match. I can see why, but it would have been nice to supplement other controllers with a phone or two.
The songs are the heart of the game, and there are some here I liked and some I didn’t. To me, that’s a good sign. If there is enough for me to enjoy, it is playable for just about anyone. It is very pop focused, but you are going to find anything from Hatsune Miku to upbeat classical songs to regular pop songs.
Being a musical curmudgeon, I was surprised to see that songs I might not listen to normally were great for the game. Other songs would be stuck in your head for days. I have been singing Beep Beep I’m a Sheep and Blue everywhere. Good luck getting the catchy hooks out of your head.
Playing alone is fine for practice, and the game tries to keep you coming back. There are different goals, a dance mode, and a fitness mode to help you shed those calories. Haters of exercise rejoice, because you can work up a sweat and play video games, instead of just sweating while you eat.
Your progress is rewarded with Mojo coins. The coins earned throughout the game can be used in a prize machine. It spits out new stickers, avatars, alternate choreography, and songs to personalize your character and expand your options.
While the single player is OK, it is just OK. Just Dance really shines when you have multiple people trying to awkwardly follow the routines or competition junkies who want to earn one more star than you. Whether you are trying to keep a group of kids busy for a few minutes or are dancing with some inebriated adults, Just Dance 2018 is a great party game.
Ubisoft realizes this and ups the ante shortly after you finish a few songs. They give you 90 days access to a huge library of songs from previous games, and new songs opened up during the time I played. There are hundreds of songs from the Ghostbusters theme to several Lady Gaga tunes, including Just Dance of course. There are multiple categories to search, or you can view them all alphabetically.
When your subscription is up, you can buy a new one for a day, a month, or longer. If you have family coming in for the holidays or a gathering of friends, you can choose a short subscription. If booze doubles as your therapist and you have the Partridge family living at your house, choose a longer subscription.
There is one warning for anyone with slow or no internet. The service relies on streaming the song, so it will not work for a trip to a remote cabin or those of you without broadband. They stream the song, and I had a few fuzzy beginnings until it buffered.
You will not see the vibrant backgrounds if you are focusing on shaking your booty for the most points, but they are full of motion. The dancers are superimposed on the animated scenes, and they are trippy. With a dark room and a little imagination, you have your own dance club, where you can be the jerk who spills his beer on someone else.
After shaking your groove thing, gamers with the PlayStation Camera can watch snippets of their performance. The recordings happen while you make the painful spasms of Elaine from Seinfeld look like the masterful moves of Michael Jackson. You can save these hilarious or shameful moments for your own private enjoyment, or share them by uploading them directly to Just Dance TV or Facebook. After working up the courage to shame myself publicly, I could find no way to export them from the PS4.
For the most part, the game runs fine, even if it takes just a little longer to get started. I did experience multiple crashes when I tried to access the World Dance Floor recently. It eventually worked, but I had to restart every time.
Just Dance 2018 has all the right moves. There is good selection of songs, multiple control methods, and enough new goals and unlocks to keep you, your family, or a group of friends moving long into the night. You can see this as a standalone game, but I think it is much better as a platform for a party game. It is accessible to almost anyone, and that is why it easy to recommend Just Dance 2018.
Just Dance 2018 PS4 Review
Just Dance 2018 is an OK single player game wrapped in a great party game. The newest iteration is definitely pushing a platform over the standalone experience, but there is more than enough content and included modes that it never became a problem.
If you want something for everyone to do for these upcoming holidays or are inviting a group of friends to your house, Just Dance 2018 has a good variety of songs to keep anyone moving. It is a fantastic way to spend an evening.
Review Disclaimer: This review was carried out using a digital copy of the game provided by the publisher. For more information, please read our Review Policy.
Reviewed using base PS4.