This review is based off of a complimentary copy sent to me for editorial consideration. All opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links.
I haven’t written about it in a while but I’m a gamer and a wannabe dancer. And those two traits have come together nicely in many video games over the years from Ubisoft.
I fell in love with Just Dance 2. I actually reviewed Just Dance 3. And I even wrote about (and OMG – video too!) the ABBA video game You Can Dance. At this point, you might think I’m a video dancing expert.
The truth is that I’m not any sort of expert by any means (but I do happen to rock at Tik Tok by Ke$ha on Just Dance 2 – that’s my only claim to fame). But I haven’t dusted off these games in a few years.
We used to be a Nintendo-only family and we were obsessed with our Wii U. Then my son got a little older and he’s totally NOT into dance games and actually spends most of his time on Xbox One. So our Wii U has been sitting on the shelf wondering where we’ve been.
When Ubisoft sent the call out for interested reviewers for Just Dance 2018, I figured why not? I needed more exercise and Just Dance used to be my favorite way to do it. And the Wii U is more my speed than the Xbox One.
With everything dusted off and the game in my hand, I popped it in and got ready for my dance party.
What I expected from Just Dance 2018
Honestly, I expected a regurgitation of all the other Just Dance games but with more current music and more modern dances. That’s definitely some of what you get with Just Dance 2018.
The game starts with 16 songs enabled including a few you might recognize:
“Despacito” by Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee
“Shape Of You” by Ed Sheeran
“Swish Swish” by Katy Perry Ft. Nicki Minaj
“24K Magic” by Bruno Mars
“Naughty Girl” by Beyoncé
(Not to show my age or musical taste but I didn’t recognize most of the songs on the game).
After dancing your way through two of the songs, you unlock the full category of music which includes 40 songs (and don’t worry – there are some throwback songs too, like Queen’s “Another One Bites The Dust”).
But here’s the best part. Even a lousy, non-dancer like me can still have fun.
What I got with Just Dance 2018
Right out of the box, I put on one of the songs, and attempted to dance my way through the moves. And… SCORE! I got 5 stars!
Now, it helps that I’ve been playing Just Dance for years so I generally know what to watch on the screen and when to expect repetition so I was able to pick up some of the moves pretty quickly and get rewarded with on-screen noises and words like Perfect! and Super! This game was actually really good for my self-esteem.
Until something else happened.
You have the option and ability to place your Wii U GamePad upright and have it record a video of you dancing. I wanted to make sure I authentically reviewed every aspect of the game so I tried it. And, well, let’s just say I feel better when I’m dancing than when I’m actually watching myself dancing.
(Want to see how the video actually looks? You can by clicking here but you have to PROMISE not to laugh!)
After dancing a few times and getting back into the groove of the game, I was pleasantly surprised when the following popped up:
Unbeknownst to me, the game has the option to subscribe to Just Dance Unlimited, which gives you access to 300 more songs, including those from other versions of Just Dance and a wide variety of other songs. Looking for Christmas-themed dance tunes? Want to jam to just 80s songs? You can do that by selecting the theme of music you want to listen to.
Although I’m using the 90 day trial version, a quick Google search told me that you can pay for the subscription for $4.99 for 30 days, $9.99 for three months, or $29.99 for the full year.
After a few themed dances, I went back to the home screen to explore a little more. I found a section just for Kids (recommended for those under 6, in my opinion). It includes some of the songs on the regular version (like Moana’s “How Far I’ll Go) but also includes some simpler, sillier songs just for kids who want to dance along with you.IIt was the other option on the home screen, however, that quickly became my favorite. It’s the World Dance Floor. Because it’s not enough for me to dance badly in the privacy of my own home. I have to do it all over the world!
Actually, it sound scarier than it is. I was worried that somehow my video function would become enabled and shared all over the world but that’s not how it works.
You simply opt in and dance to whatever song is chosen by the majority of participants. At one point on a Friday night, I was dancing at the same time to the same song as people from Spain, Brazil, and even Saudi Arabia. And even more surprising is that out of 60+ dancers around the world, I didn’t come in last place!
It’s basically an online scoring competition. Your scores are tallied per song and per tournament (which lasts 3 songs) and then you’re given an overall global ranking that resets after a specific interval.
After a few dances with my fellow global citizens, I called it quits for a few reasons. First, I’m a little older that I was when I reviewed Just Dance 3 in 2011 so I need to build up my stamina again. And second, Just Dance 2018 did exactly what it was supposed to do – exercise without even realizing I was doing it. I wiped the sweat from my brow and decided that it’s time to have fun again.
If you’ve never played Just Dance or just want to see a preview of Just Dance 2018, you can get a glimpse here. You’ll also find links to download a free preview but only on select gaming systems.
Release date: October 24, 207
Systems: Wii, Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3, PS4, Switch
Category: Dance & Music