There’s something about the Just Dance series that simply can’t be beaten by any other form of party game.
Maybe it’s that you have to physically get up and give your best attempt at what some might call a dance or the ensuing hilarity of watching your friends go head to head in competition. Either or, the newest addition to the franchise - 'Just Dance 2020' - is a great game.
Every copy of the game includes a months subscription to Just Dance Unlimited. The feature gives access to the 500+ songs in the full Just Dance library, which is excellent. Unfortunately, this does create a bit of a problem. After that month – or if you decide not to use that month – your library significantly shrinks to the 40 songs which are included in the base copy of the game. Granted, access to the Ultimate add-on only costs €24.99 for 12 months, so as far as microtransactions go, you could be seeing a lot worse. Some of the hits included in the 40 tracks provided with the game are great though. Songs like the viral 'Baby Shark', Billie Eilish’s 'Bad Guy', and '7 Rings' by the ever incredible pop-queen Ariana Grande, make a return from the past year to stick prominently in your head again for another few weeks.
There’s nothing new to the mechanics of 'Just Dance 2020' in comparison to previous iterations, but there’s no need to change a game this formulaic that has proven it’s a success time and time again. Dancers on-screen show the choreography you have to follow in time to the beat, and you can view a rough sketch upcoming on the bottom right to prepare for what move is coming next. It might be hard to predict what sort of movement is coming up, but after a few repeats of the same dance move – as is with dancing in real life – you commit the routine to your muscle memory and end up actually dancing. That being said, sometimes as long as you swing your JoyCon in roughly the right direction in time with the beat, you’ll score "Perfect" regardless of how the rest of your body is moving.
The World Stage mode pits you and your friends against players all around the world, ranking you or your team out of all the people on that server. While enjoyable, you might get the feeling that at times you’re up against professional dancers – or maybe I couldn’t win because I’m a terrible one.
For all the families out there with younger children, 'Just Dance 2020' has a Kids section that includes all of the kid-centric songs like "Baby Shark". This helps younger players from being exposed to more explicit tracks.
Your inner cynic might describe 'Just Dance 2020' as a cash grab. Updating the same game annually with new songs and a reskin seems like exploitation of people, but you’re probably not the target market if this is how you feel. 'Just Dance 2020' works best as a family or student party experience, and with new families coming of age every year, and new students too, 'Just Dance 2020' will live long into our futures. If you have a copy from other years, you probably won’t need to buy the 2020 edition, but if you’re looking for a great party game for your console then consider it.
Even though it might not last an average player all-year-round, instead of being brought out at house parties during the time it probably shouldn’t be, it’s worth the price tag for creating memories with family and friends. Although, if you already have a copy of 'Just Dance 2019', then maybe hold on to that until the next release.