Review – Just Dance 2021

Just Dance is a game that needs no introduction. After twelve entries into the franchise, I think it’s safe to say that we all know what it’s about. Get some friends together, select a song, and shake your money maker. Admittedly, I’d only played Just Dance a couple of times at a friend’s house and that was way back when the Kinect was first introduced. So I was curious to get my hands on Just Dance 2021 to see if it was still as fun as I remember.

Just Dance 2021 is a rhythym-based dancing game, pure and simple. And honestly, that’s all it needs to be. This is the perfect game to play when you have a bunch of friends over. My friends and family had a blast watching each other flail around like they’d just stepped into a beehive while trying to match the motions of the onscreen dancers.

Just Dance 2021

Creepy clown vibes, anyone?

It’s also a must for people with children. As someone who doesn’t have a huge yard for my kids to play in when they get too rambunctious or cooped up, this is the perfect alternative. We all had so much fun laughing and dancing together while burning off some energy. Plus, they knocked out hard each night we had a lengthy dance session, which any parent will tell you is a treasured rarity.

In fact, it’s just a great way to exercise, period. I was working up quite a sweat while stomping and gyrating across my living room floor, but I was having so much fun I didn’t care. My body hated me the next day though. However, since this doesn’t feel like a tedious exercise routine and you can have fun with a group, it makes it easier to get into on a regular basis. Who knows? Maybe I’ll actually master one of these dance routines before too long and shed a few pounds in the process.

Just Dance 2021

Some of the co-op specific dances are the most fun.

As I previously mentioned, the last time I played a Just Dance game it was on the Kinect. So I was really skeptical of how well Just Dance 2021 would be able to track my movements since it now has you using the Just Dance app on your phone. Amazingly, it works just as well as the Kinect, possibly even better. The UI is also surprisingly easy to use. My two young children picked up on how to operate it in no time.

Just Dance 2021 features over forty of the most popular chart-topping hits. However, my biggest complaint with the setlist is that there isn’t a huge variety in musical genres. It’s pretty much all pop from various countries, synthesized DJ beats, and some alternative rock. While those songs can be fun to dance to, they’re not necessarily something I’m personally eager to listen to over and over. I’d love to have a few hard rock or metal songs in there for some good, challenging, head-banging glory. They would probably have to create a whole new difficulty category for those kinds of songs though.

This isn’t a dance to a 60’s song like you might think from this image. It’s actually “Senorita” by Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello.

On the bright side, there is the option of subscribing to Just Dance Unlimited. This is a streaming service with over four hundred songs to choose from. Basically, it allows access to just about every song featured in other installments. At only $4.99 a month, I think it’s well worth it, especially if you know you’re going to playing it quite a bit. Seeing how much my friends and family have enjoyed this game, subscribing to this service was a no-brainer for me.

Just Dance 2021 hasn’t done anything to change up the formula, but then again, it doesn’t need to. It knows what it is and it does it well. It provides a fun, invigorating (and exhausting) experience in a way that doesn’t feel tedious. It’s great for groups of friends, families with children, and even for solo players looking for a great way to get in shape. The song list might not be the most varied in terms of genres and styles to choose from, but you can subscribe to their Unlimited service to open much more options. I may have looked like a squid having a seizure while playing it, but I’ve never had more fun doing so.

 

Graphics: 7.0

The graphics aren’t particularly mind-blowing, but the dancers showing off the moves are clear and the color palette is bright and invigorating.

Gameplay: 9.0

Utilizing your phone in order to track your movements works much better than I was expecting. Somehow, it seems to register your movements just as well as the Kinect.

Sound: 8.0

The Just Dance 2021 setlist features forty new chart-topping tracks from current times. I do wish there was a little more variety with the musical styles though.

Fun Factor: 8.0

Just Dance 2021 is just as much fun as I remember. It’s fun for the whole family or even as an enjoyable way to get into shape. I would highly recommend getting the Unlimited Pass for a better song variety though.

Final Verdict: 8.0

Just Dance 2021 is available now on Switch, PS5, PS4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X and Series S, and Google Stadia.

Reviewed on Xbox Series X.

A copy of Just Dance 2021 was provided by the publisher.