It’s arguably the best party game on the PS4 right now, perfect for gamers with kids or significant others who can’t (or won’t) play FIFA or Call of Duty with them. Incredibly easy to learn and have a good time with, Just Dance 2016 is a huge step up from its predecessors in many ways.
So, if you haven’t played a Just Dance title yet, you’re probably wondering what the game is all about. Inspired by games like DDR and Guitar Hero, Just Dance displays a series of dance moves on screen and uses either the PlayStation Camera or (new to the series) your smartphone to judge how accurately you’re replicating them, all to the beat of various pop hits.
The system doesn’t expect you to be a finalist on “So You Think You Can Dance,” though- it’s incredibly forgiving and perfect for casual players that just want to have a little fun. There are difficulty modes and the game can get a little challenging, but it’s mostly about repeating a series of basic moves with a few variations.
Still, at the completion of many songs you may find yourself out of breath, but a lot of that will be due to the fact that you’re laughing so hard after watching yourself and your friends make complete fools out of yourselves on camera in the front of the room.
So what’s new in Just Dance 2016? Aside from smartphone integration (done by a free app that is surprisingly very responsive), there are a handful of new game modes, the highlight of which is the “Showtime” mode. In “Showtime,” you’re able to record lip-sync videos to select songs and customize the background of the video, which will undoubtedly lead to some hilarious YouTube gems. “Dance Party” mode is a cooperative challenge, and “Dance Quests” are three-song face offs vs. AI opponents.
Of course, any rhythm game is only as good as its track list. In Just Dance 2016, you’ll be able to groove to modern hits like All About that Bass by Megan Trainor and Fancy by Iggy Azalea, electronic staples like Animals by Martin Garixx, and even songs that definitely haven’t ever inspired you dance before, like The William Tell Overture (you’ll recognize it when you hear it) and the theme song from Angry Birds. Disney hits from The Little Mermaid and classics like Hit the Road Jack round out the list to make this one of the most unique soundtracks in video game history.
If you’re in love with previous versions of Just Dance simply because they offered songs that were more to your liking, you won’t even have to switch out a disc to dance to them. One of the coolest features of Just Dance 2016 is “Just Dance Unlimited,” which is a subscription based service that gives you access to 154 songs in the Just Dance library, with exclusive songs being released each month. It’s just under $7 a month, which is a little pricey, but the game comes with a 2-day free trial to try it out.
Just Dance 2016 is a game for people who want a fun party experience or who get a kick out of rhythm games. It adds just enough new features and new songs to warrant a purchase even if you already own 2015.