It’s time once again to hit the dance floor with some of today’s most popular music. Keep the party going with 40 new tracks from some of the top artists in dance music. The perennial Just Dance 2019 is available now for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Nintendo Switch.
Just Dance 2019 Details
Platforms: Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch
Developer: Ubisoft Paris, Ubisoft Pune, Ubisoft Shanghai
Modes: Single-player, multiplayer
ESRB Rating: E (Everyone)
Don’t stop the music
I have to admit that the track list for Just Dance 2019 isn’t exactly in my wheelhouse. My most recent musical purchases include a series of Smashing Pumpkins albums reprinted on vinyl. Even glancing over the list of artists who make up Just Dance 2019 I only recognize maybe one in five names.
Luckily I have a 12 year old daughter to take with me on my Just Dance 2019 journey. She assures me that the 40 song list contains many big hits that fans of the series are likely to be very excited to dance along with. In fact Just Dance 2019 features tracks from heavy-hitters such as Bruno Mars, Cardi B, and Ariana Grande—and yes, even I am familiar with the star power of these big names!
With assurances made as to the solidity of the game’s soundtrack, we set off to test out what really matters. The music is popular, but could we dance to it?
Your phone can be the controller
When I first found out I would be using the Xbox One version of Just Dance 2019 for my review, I cringed a bit. Surely this meant I would have to dig the Kinect peripheral out of storage and hook it up, right? Luckily this is not the case.
Of course a huge selling franchise like Just Dance is not tied to an abandoned peripheral, and that should have dawned on me sooner. You can absolutely use the Kinect to play if that’s your preference. However, anybody can jump into a game of Just Dance 2019 on any console simply by downloading the Just Dance Controller app on their cell phone.
Up to 6 dancers can be supported at a time using the cell phone app. Players hold their phone firmly in their right hand, which in turn registers their movement and allows the game to score players based on the accuracy of their dancing.
Using your phone as a controller for Just Dance 2019 is a very convenient way to play. It eliminates the need for a Kinect or for multiple controllers, and allows as many people as possible to easily join the game.
Ease versus accuracy
That said, it’s also likely the least accurate way to measure your skill. With only your right hand providing relevant information, it’s easy to drop the ball on what the rest of your limbs are doing. As long as the movement of the hand holding the phone is on point, the rest of you can slack off on precision without really affecting your score.
In this regard, using the Kinect peripheral is still probably the most accurate (and fun) way to play Just Dance 2019. The fact that Kinect registers your entire body make it not only more enjoyable, but also easier to see what you are doing wrong and improve on your mistakes.
Nevertheless, if you are playing on another platform, are short on controllers, or do not have a Kinect, the cell phone app is a convenient innovation that makes Just Dance 2019 fun for everyone. You may even be like me and see using your phone as a superior solution vs. even bothering to dig the Kinect out from the bottom of your closet in the first place!
Sweating to the newbies
With our phones synced and ready to go, my daughter and I jumped in to a fun and frantic full-out dance party. We had a blast busting out our dance moves, and the laughter was frequent and liberal. I have to admit that often the butt of the joke was my less-than-stellar performance, but good times were had for that reason rather than in spite of it!
While dancing and dance music are not my forte, I can certainly see the appeal in a game like Just Dance 2019. Certainly if you’re passionate about dancing it would be fun to play and practice even in a solo session—but Just Dance 2019 truly shines as a party game experience. Much like a real dance club, this is definitely a case of “the more the merrier”. Even though my dance skills may be lacking, as a bonding experience I certainly had a fantastic time playing with my daughter.
Lots to do and unlock
In between dances we found a lot of other enjoyment in Just Dance 2019 as well. You’ll constantly receive challenges from Just Dance 2019 that reward you with a virtually currency. These challenges are normally simple tasks such as dancing to a specific song or exploring the various menu functions of the game.
The virtual currency can be spent on a toy capsule machine that unlocks everything from concept art through to new variations on songs within the game. You can also unlock new avatars and ways to customize your “dancer card”, which serves as your online profile in Just Dance 2019.
We also participated in Just Dance 2019’s online mode, where players from around the world all dance to the same song and compete in a ladder-score ranking system. It’s really fun to see how your score compares to other dancers around the world in real time, and the game pops up fun facts throughout the competition, such as how many dancers are currently competing from a given country.
Just Dance 2019 is a rowdy, high energy party game
Even though I’m neither a great dancer nor a pop music fan, I still had a fun time with Just Dance 2019. A very big part of the game’s charm is the way it can bring people together for laughter and good times regardless of skill level. It’s definitely a healthy and engaging way to get into gaming.
The Just Dance Controller app is an easy and convenient way to get as many people as possible into the game. It may not be the most accurate way to measure your score, but it certainly makes Just Dance 2019 more accessible than it has ever been—and this is one game that is nothing if not better with as many friends as you can fit on your living room dance floor.
+ 40 new tracks from today’s biggest artists
+ Local multiplayer fun for up to 6 dancers
+ Just Dance Controller app for convenient multiplayer action
– Using one motion controller/phone is less accurate
OVERALL ASSESSMENT OF JUST DANCE 2019
Lasting Appeal/Replayability: 4/5