I’m not a great dancer. Believe me; I’ve tried. Friends have convinced me in the past to go to clubs, but that’s not my scene. Technically, my only successful forays into dancing are the Dance Central and Just Dance games. Although I’m not great, I do love the art of dance. Floor Kids highlights the breakdancing scene in a way that is welcoming to those unfamiliar with the style. As someone who is well-versed in the rhythm genre, Floor Kids is unlike anything I’ve played before.
Feel the rhythm within
Earning five crowns in every level is the primary goal in the game. Doing so requires you to get a certain score at the end of each song. To achieve this, players must mix up move types, perform combos, and show-off to onlookers. The four dance types are Toprock, Downrock, Power, and Freeze. Each category has four moves to execute that are linked to the face buttons. Players enter Toprock by moving the left stick up, Downrock by moving the stick down, Power by swirling the stick, and freeze by holding down the sick in the direction that corresponds to a face button at the same time.
Fight for that high score
While it sounds complicated at first, Floor Kids becomes accessible once you understand the mechanics. The scoring was weird, and despite doing the tutorial, my attempts at five crowns proved to be disastrous. Finding my rhythm was difficult because unlike other games in the genre, you genuinely need rhythm in Floor Kids. Other games ask you to hit notes as they approach the screen. Floor Kids wants players to dance to their heart out. You earn scores from the following criteria; funk, flavor, flow, fire, and flyness. Between keeping the rhythm, performing moves that the crowd asks, posing, and doing tricks, you’ll raise the score.
Each of the eight dancers has specific combos that you can learn from the menu. Stringing certain moves together will properly execute the combo. Memorizing these moves takes some time, but doing so is rewarding. You need to learn how to string together moves, when to do a combo, when to pose, and when to show off. Doing these in rapid succession and with a steady flow will result in a better score. Twice during each song, there will be a section where players must press buttons along the beat. Similar to a typical rhythm game, these moments offer variety. My issue with this is that eventually, you know them by heart. It goes against the essence of Floor Kids, which is following your own unique flow.
An audio and visual delight
Many rhythm games don’t have much visual flair. Floor Kids is unlike most games in the genre in this regard. The hand-drawn visual aesthetic is absolutely gorgeous. The character models are lovely to look at, and each venue is full of excellent attention to detail. Since there isn’t any note prompts to follow, I often got lost in the environment. From an audio standpoint, Floor Kids is flawless. It gives you the impression that you’re really watching people breakdance. The hip-hop beats and the turntables scratching records emulate from the speakers. The crowd chanting “go, go, go” as the character dances is an excellent touch. With more than 30 tracks, there’s a lot to love. You’ll hear them so often on your quest for five crowns, but so far, the songs never overstayed their welcome.
Conclusion: A wonderful look into a subculture of dance
Floor Kids is stellar; plain and simple. As someone who loves the genre, I can’t recommend Floor Kids enough. What I love most is that it does a lot that most rhythm games fail to do. Floor Kids immerses players into the gameplay, but also provides an exceptional view of an influential dance type. While the visual prowess is a great reason to check the game out, the masterful audio and intuitive gameplay are the reasons to stick with it. I love the focus on “feeling the music” and “going with the flow” to achieve a high score. There’s no stress when it comes to missing notes like in games like Rock Band and Guitar Hero.
You can’t fail, because, in Floor Kids, you’re rewarded for dancing. Sure, some people dance better than others, but Floor Kids is all about dance. It’s about exploring the love of the art form, and every level proves that the team has a lot of respect for breakdance. You can beat the campaign in about two hours, but you’ll put in way more to get five crowns on every track. Floor Kids is addictive, and I doubt it’ll leave my hard drive for a very long time. Do yourself a favor and check this game out if you’re a music fan.
Release Date: November 27, 2018
No. of players: 1-2
Publisher: MERJ Media
Developer: MERJ Media
Andrew Gonzalez is the Co-Editor-In-Chief of Xbox Enthusiast. When not writing about Xbox, he’s usually reading comics, talking about Taylor Swift, and dreaming of the perfect Jet Force Gemini Reboot. You can follow him on Twitter. @AJGVulture89