Review – Floor Kids
One of the first rhythm games to come out for the Switch, Floor Kids is also one of the most unique games to come out in 2017. I can’t remember the last time I saw a game based around breakdancing, let alone a game dedicated to freestyling. The game lets you dance to the sound of original tunes with very charismatic visuals. While a bit rough around the edges, I can’t help but feel satisfied with this breath of fresh air in a lackluster generation when it comes to new gaming ideas.
As you can see by the pictures, Floor Kids boasts one heck of a unique art style. The hand-drawn visuals are excellent, as well as all of the also hand-drawn animations for each of the dozens of moves you can pull off. The only negative I could find regarding the great graphics is the fact that the backdrops are a bit repetitive, as they are always a slight variation of a crowd of people watching your performance. The soundtrack is, as you’d expect, excellent as well. Despite not featuring any licensed track (I’d have loved being able to dance to the sound of the break dancing classic that is “Apache”), the game features a great original soundtrack composed by Canadian DJ Kid Koala. The amount of songs isn’t immense but it’s great while it lasts.
Floor Kids‘ gameplay is a bit complex at first. The controls are indeed responsive, but you’ll need to get used to the fact that there are tons of moves you can perform. While you’ll need to constantly mash any of the four buttons according to a song’s beat in order to maintain momentum, the game features a lot more moves. Dozens upon dozens of them. The amount of stunts you can perform can actually be overwhelming at times, as you’ll need quite some time to learn all the (sometimes counterintuitive) moves you can perform.
As previously mentioned, Floor Kids is based around freestyling. The developers took this concept very seriously. That means that Floor Kids completely deviates from the standard rhythm game philosophy of hitting the notes that show up onscreen. It’s been like this with every single game in this genre, from Dance Dance Revolution to Rock Band. In Floor Kids, however, it’s completely up to you to decide what you’re going to do, as long as you keep your moves to the sound of the beat. On one hand, it’s a good thing, as it leaves a lot of room for creativity and improvisation. On the other hand, that makes Floor Kids one of the least challenging and focused rhythm games ever made, as there are no challenging note sections to pull off here, no difficult mandatory dance combos for you to perform. If you learn how to pull off complex dance combos and advanced moves, good for you, you’ll have a high score. If you just stick to basic button presses, on the other hand, you can still pass the levels. The game does try to motivate you to improvise by giving out a few rewards when you pull off harder combos, but it’s still nowhere near as joyful as managing to beat a song on an expert difficulty on any other rhythm game out there.
Floor Kids is a unique experience, something you won’t find elsewhere for any other system. It takes the concept of freestyle dancing very seriously, as you’ll always have to improvise new moves in order to keep up with the beat and with the score multiplier. Despite the unique gameplay and great soundtrack, this isn’t exactly a game I’d recommend to all music fans out there, given the lack of difficulty settings and extremely short sections in which you’ll be given a fixed row of notes to press. But despite its shortcomings, Floor Kids is one of the most original games available for the Switch.