Previously, my one and only attempt at a rhythm game was some Dance Dance Revolution type thing that I had on the original Nintendo Wii. Obviously, this was quite a while ago, and I can’t say that, in the interim, my interest in them has increased. But when the opportunity to review Just Dance 2018 came up, I thought, oh why the heck not? Okay, let’s be honest, I was the only one willing to review it.
As I’m completely new to the Just Dance franchise, I didn’t really know what to expect. It’s safe to say that I popped the disc in with a fair amount of trepidation. As I don’t have the PlayStation Camera, I used the free Just Dance controller app on my phone. You can also use PlayStation Move controllers, but the phone app works fine and is available for both Android and iOS.
Once you’re in the game, it’s just a matter of picking a song and getting started. Just Dance 2018 combines elements of regular rhythm games and mashes it up with a major fitness element. The basic goal is to accurately mimic the dancer’s movements on screen. And, let me tell you, sometimes that isn’t easy! The choreography ranges from “easy party songs” to essentially professional level dancing.
In the beginning, there are only a few songs to choose from, so it’s best to just dive right in. After you’ve played a few, you’ll unlock the rest. Once you’re in a song (and solidly gripping your phone), you just need to follow what the dancer on the screen is doing. Hints about the upcoming moves do show on screen, though they may be somewhat difficult to interpret. The better you are at hitting the moves just right, the more stars you earn and the higher your score. And, if you’re extra coordinated, you can go above five stars and earn a new ranking of Megastar if you do incredibly well.
As you dance, you also accumulate Mojo, the in-game currency. You then spend your Mojo in a gashapon machine and collect random rewards. These rewards include stickers, extra songs and alternative choreographies for songs. Each day, extra missions also show up to help you earn Mojo faster. These daily missions could be to dance to a certain song, get all the gold moves on a certain number of songs, or just sweat it out by dancing in sweat mode.
Speaking of, the sweat mode is an interesting little add-on. Once activated, the mode gives you a rough idea of how many calories you burned while pulling off your moves. Obviously, it’s no professional fitness monitor, so it can only give you an estimation. But trust me, you will be working out, sweat mode or not! According to my FitBit, I clocked a 45-minute aerobic workout, and I really felt it. Mostly in my right arm, thanks to having to hold my phone while dancing and grip it seriously tightly lest it flies out of my hands.
As for the music itself, your dance song choices are mostly easy listening pop. Current pop isn’t exactly my forte, but there were lots of names I recognised, if not the songs. They’re mostly, if not all, big chart-toppers from recent years, as well as some well-known classics. It’s a nice, balanced music selection, even if you don’t enjoy listening to current pop you’ll have fun with the tunes on offer. As part of the Just Dance 2018 experience, you also get a free 90 trial of Just Dance Unlimited, which lets you access an additional 300 songs – most of which have featured in previous iterations of the franchise.
As a party game, Just Dance 2018 is a great game to play with friends, as long as you have enough room (give or take a meter between you). Accidentally smacking someone in the face with your jazz hands is a very real risk! But assuming your friends are adventurous (or have short arms), Just Dance is an absolute blast with more than one person. Some of the songs include up to four dancers, but most are solo or duet. And, with the quick and easy download of the controller app, you can get everyone up and running in very little time.
Just be careful, the app absolutely murders your phone’s battery. It’ll beat your battery like your phone owes it money. A few times I couldn’t play for as long as I wanted because I had to stop and charge my phone, and there was no way I could dance while holding my phone and a power bank at the same time. Also, more than once, the controller app had a disconnect issue where the PlayStation just couldn’t see it anymore, forcing me to exit both the app and the game to the main screen to start from scratch. Luckily this didn’t happen often, and never mid-dance, but it was frustrating when it did. Although, it did give me a handy break from the game, because it’s damn tiring. Yes, it’s easy enough to cheat the moves with little effort but, honestly, where’s the fun in that?
I have to admit, Just Dance 2018 was a weird amount of fun. I didn’t think I’d enjoy having to physically get up from the couch and actually move around for a game, but once I was on my feet and getting into it, it turned out to be pretty rewarding. Hitting the moves in just the right way, getting a “perfect moves” streak and even getting the Megastar rating on a song, it was all incredibly rewarding.
So rewarding in fact, I wanted to show off my sweet dance moves for you guys. Besides, when else do I get the chance to bust out my hot pink legwarmers that I just happen to own?
And if you have friends willing to join you on your escapades, it’s even more fun. Be warned, Just Dance 2018 will not actually make you a dancer, as evident below. But hey, if your cat doesn’t care, neither should you!
Last Updated: November 28, 2017