TUCSON, Ariz. — “Just Dance 2022” is somewhat of a wallflower, content to sit in the background while the flashier holiday releases take up most of the spotlight. Confident in its package of skills and appeal, it’s waiting for a tap on the shoulder for those who recognize its worth.
The 13th installment of the series offers little new — somewhat disappointing for the first full-fledged release on current-gen systems — but at least the devs at Ubisoft Paris and Shanghai didn’t mess things up. There’s a reason the game consistently ranks as a bestseller. Flashy choreography, couch and online multiplayer appeal and an impressive array of licensed music all deliver the goods year in and year out.
More than 40 songs are included, spanning as far back as 1978, with Sylvester’s “You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real),” but the vast majority of the tracks are pop and club hits from the past five years. Think the lights of Justin Timberlake, Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga and Dua Lipa.
The $25 “Just Dance Unlimited” expansion pass is a must if you plan to play the game regularly. The year-long expansion grants you access to dozens of songs from past editions of the game, with regular updates further deepening the song roster. A trial version is included with the game.
The evolution to new-gen consoles eschews my favorite aspect of last-gen — camera and motion integration with the now-defunct Kinect — the integration with the smartphone/tablet app works as smoothly as ever.
The free-for-all online mode dubbed World Dance Floor continues to thrive. The convenience of drop-in, drop-out tournaments and mini competitions lets you meet collaborators and competitors from around the globe, letting you compare skills and scores.
The mainline quest is divided into solo and co-op ventures, tossing new tracks and associated challenges in your path.
Just about everything you do grants you tokens you can use to purchase random drops that include avatars, tracks, stickers and the like.
More communication-oriented and freelance choreography features might have pushed the franchise in a bold new direction. What’s here is unique and involving, but doesn’t necessarily merit an upgrade for longtime players. Of course, those looking to show off their new consoles and get friends and family moving will find much to love here.
Publisher provided review codes.