Another year, another Just Dance release from Ubisoft game studios. Ever since its first release in the fall of 2009, the Just Dance series has seen a yearly updated game release. Some years even saw multiple versions published. Like its predecessors, Just Dance 2022 does not stray far from the mold that shot the series into success.
The latest Just Dance 2022 installment was released in November 4, 2021, giving more than enough time during the pandemic to try out multiple dance sessions. Dancers use either their Nintendo Switch joy-cons, PlayStation move controllers, or smartphone to follow the onscreen moves to hit songs. Difficulties range from the typical easy and hard with the ability to unlock extreme versions of certain songs for an extra challenge. Overall the base game comes with access to 44 tracks, and 1-6 players are able to join in at any given time. That said, it’s enjoyable enough to tag along regardless if your score is being tracked or not. The dance moves never seem impossible, and, if you have access to online services, you can even play against users worldwide in the World Dance Floor tournaments. If you’re like most adult users and using Just Dance to move and sweat during another pandemic lockdown, the Sweat Mode and additional challenges are wonderful motivators to keep moving on a daily basis. Disappointingly, however, there is a noticeable lack of accessibility features or customization options in the menu or settings.
The list of songs ranges from 2021 releases from artists like Billie Eilish and The Weeknd to tracks from the 1970s from artists like Sylvester and The Sunlight Shakers. There is enough music variety for everyone in this playlist. Songs with profanity though seem to have gotten “Ubisoft” or clean versions with swears faded out or lyrics changed all together. It is certainly not a bad idea when trying to do a family-friendly dance session, but having the option to switch back to the original version would have been a nice feature that I hope to see in future Just Dance variations. For children specifically, the Kids Mode has returned with 8 tracks and dances. Though the simplicity of the dance routine was enjoyable to them, my young niece and nephew were not at all impressed by the song choices, preferring Taylor Swift to Dance of the Mirlitons.
A Just Dance game review wouldn’t be complete without discussing the infamous subscription service: Just Dance Unlimited. Priced at $24.99 USD yearly, it’s rather pricey as far as subscriptions go. Unlimited itself is also limited to 600 or so songs, a revolving door of music that changes as music licenses come and go. Compared to other subscription services like The Nintendo Switch Online at $19.99/year USD, it’s quite the expensive cost for just one game platform. And Just Dance doesn’t let you ever forget that it has a subscription service. Unlimited is constantly being advertised, giving you challenges or notifications, urging you to play songs only available on this service. It even makes it hard to find the songs you CAN play without forking over the fee. It by far was the most distracting and bothersome part of the whole menu system, feeling like I was clicking away adverts just to play the base game.
At full price, Just Dance 2022 comes in at $49.99 USD across all gaming platforms. Though new copies do come with a free month of Just Dance Unlimited, it often feels like the base game is just a demo to get players to pay to access the whole library of songs and challenges. When not a walking advertisement for Unlimited, Just Dance 2022 is another solid and safe installment in the series; the music choices are fun and diverse, the dancing a blast, and it’s exactly the workout we all could use. But with the track limitations, it’s probably best to wait for a sale price before snagging a copy.
Reviewed on Nintendo Switch.