October’s featured many of the year’s biggest titles from Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 to Red Dead Redemption 2 to Assassin’s Creed Odyssey. Fall is packed with games worth your time and as is tradition, a new Just Dance released. As it stands, the franchise is chugging along, keeping people entertained and helping them look like professional dancers, or at least trying to. I’m convinced I’m a good dancer.
In the past few years, the series has seen an amalgamation of gameplay across platforms and mobile. You must follow the on-screen dancers performing to dozens of songs. The better you follow along and learn the dances, the better your score is as you earn upwards of five stars. The movements are tracked via the Joy-Con in your hand, or through your mobile device if that’s being used.
Graphically, this is a colourful game full of things to look at. There’s a very sleek, modern and minimal design. There’s nothing crazy about the graphics that push boundaries, this isn’t the game for that talk but certainly, the models and dancers included are wonderful to look at as they dance on screen.
While the entire library isn’t available at the start, you can select songs from the menu and progress over time, unlocking newer songs by playing along. Menus are sleek, colourful, and intuitive and navigating is a breeze, there’s even a way to track your stats and learn more about your progress. My favourite thing to do is turning on sweat mode. In sweat mode, you engage in more physical dance routines that track calories on screen as you follow the routine. In the end, the game provides a total calorie count that adds a fun and engaging layer to the game’s routines.
Playlists are a set of curated songs designed by Ubisoft in a number of genres. to compare this to anything, think of the front page of Spotify’s playlist feature (something I use every day) and you’re able to create your own set of playlists, allowing a personal experience when friends are over.
Included with Just Dance 2019, is a one-month subscription to Just Dance Unlimited. This is the service Ubisoft runs concurrently with their yearly releases that feature over 400 songs available to play on a whim if you have a mobile phone available. Once the subscription runs out, however, the game reverts to the basic list of around 40 songs available within the game. Essentially, the taste of hundreds of songs for a fraction price is more enticing than picking up the yearly release. For around $32 CAD, you have access to enough songs to keep the party going for a long time.
Turning into a subscription-based service isn’t necessarily a bad idea. A game like this and the way we play, this is a great way to dance and involve your friends. I don’t think the yearly releases are needed and make the choice when buying the full version a bit harder to swallow at the register. I ended up subscribing to the service during my review because of how often I play this at home and out with friends.
Ultimately, Just Dance 2019 is a fun way to dance. The included modes are fun, whether you’re dancing alone, with friends, or with strangers online. Sadly, the inclusion of the subscription-based service Just Dance Unlimited upends the need for purchasing the yearly releases for the series. Gameplay is fun and the routines are exciting to learn if you dedicate yourself to learning the moves, and the included Sweat Mode is a fun way to burn calories if you can’t make it to the gym during your day.