There’s a reason why Just Dance is the most popular dance game year after year and I’m not ashamed to say that I’m a fan. Just Dance 2020 was my first experience with the series and it’s what got me hooked. What I should say is that my family and I got hooked because this is one of the most fun games you can play as a family or a group of friends where it doesn’t matter what your skill level is. It’s just plain, simple fun. Since this is a yearly series, Just Dance 2021 was just released and again, we’re checking out the Nintendo Switch version of the game.
For those who have played the previous version of Just Dance, such as Just Dance 2020, you’ll be hard-pressed to see any real differences between that version and the new version of the game. Just Dance 2021 basically just adds 40 new songs. If you want access to the 500+ songs in the Just Dance library, you’ll have to shell out some money for Just Dance Unlimited subscription. A subscription can last 1 day, 20 days, 90 days, or 365 days. Prices will be $2.99, $3.99, $9.99, and $24.99 respectively. Luckily you’re able to try it out for a month before committing.
Gameplay wise, Just Dance 2021 plays exactly like the previous version. It is played mainly with the Joy-Cons – one for each player. If you want to play with more people, you’ll need extra Joy-Cons. If you don’t have extra Joy-Cons, you can get everyone with a smartphone to download the Just Dance Controller App on their phones and you can play like that. The only weird thing about this is that you can only play with all Joy-Cons or all smartphones. You can’t mix play with both which is still a disappointing aspect of the game.
Once you decide how you want to play, you’ll now have to decide what song you want to dance to. There’s a pretty good variety of songs in the included 40 and they range from easy to hard difficulty. What’s neat here is that easy songs can be played to unlock higher difficulty versions of those songs, and each has its own set of dances.
Just Dance 2021 scores your moves based on how accurate they are with what’s happening onscreen. It’s not too hard to follow along as you just do all the moves as if you’re looking in a mirror and the game will preview what’s about to happen at the bottom right corner. Technically, you only need to be accurate with the hand you are holding the Joy-Con with, but that’s no fun at all if that’s all you’re doing.
Just Dance 2021 will have you shaking your whole body to the music. This is especially true if you’re playing with friends or family and it just makes the experience that more enjoyable. My kids loved the previous game and this new version is no different. We’ve literally been playing this almost every day as a family and while it is fun, it’s also a way to be more active.
It’s not just the dancing either that has my kids playing. They’re also trying to Super Star and Mega Star each of the songs so they can unlock the harder versions of them. Not only that, they want to earn coins so they can use the capsule machine to get new avatars, skins, and stickers. These are just little extras that keep you coming back for more. It also helps that we have access to Just Dance Unlimited and the hundreds of other songs available and not just the base songs.
If you’re new to the franchise, Just Dance 2021 is a good starting point. The Nintendo Switch version is actually pretty good thanks to the fact that the Joy-cons are tiny and easy to hold. You could use your smartphone, but just be careful not to lose your grip on it and throw it across the room. In terms of song choice, there’s a good variety of different genres, though 40 songs really isn’t that much once you work your way through all of them. You’ll want to shell out a bit extra for Just Dance Unlimited. I suggest just paying for one month first to see if it’s worth it to you and decide after that what’s best.
Owners of Just Dance 2020 may want to wait for the game to go on sale because it’s literally almost the same game. It just has a different set of base games. If you’re a die-hard Just Dance fan though, you’ll probably want to pick it up regardless. It’s still fun and the formula seems to work as there’s no stopping the popularity of the Just Dance franchise.