Floor Kids is about feeling the rhythm, feeling the funk, feeling the feel. You and your team set out to dance the energy of the universe. To traverse the urban shopping centres, street corners, clubs and art hubs to become the best dance crew in the world.
Having already been initiated into the Guitar Hero fad I was slightly sceptical of a rhythm-based indie dance game, developed by Merj Media, considering this phase of gaming was long behind us.
Lo and behold, here I am, telling you about how much joy I’ve had completing Floor Kids. A great indie game which delivers on its premise and more. I can guarantee that music fans and rhythm-based gameplay fans will have a good, if not great, time playing this game.
You dance through a variety of locations across the city, with three tracks being based at each location. Learning the gameplay with experience and determination, you’ll begin by successfully, but simply, pressing one of your four face buttons to pull off satisfying moves, which vary depending on which character you choose to start with.
All of these guys wear funky young clothing which cohere well with the ’90s music and location aesthetic. Before you know it, you’ll be somersaulting your way to success by power-spinning head-spins and finishing 4-move combos. An impressive feat considering you will need to remember each character move to know which move to do next in the combo.
The gameplay is well-paced and allows you to grow organically to become better with each track. Supporting you to experiment and learn through failure in order to find which character suits your dance style best, and to maximise on that potential through perseverance.
Each track is a basic drum/bass rhythm dance tune which does lead us well onto one of the main issues of the game: its repetitive music. Although I enjoyed Kid Koala’s music made specifically for the game, especially when it became bold, aggressive and different, as a huge music fan I did find, more often than not, that the tunes are slightly too repetitive. Yes, some of the beat’s timings vary, which impacts the gameplay fairly drastically considering it is a rhythm-based game, however, I want more differentiation and experimentation when it comes to the tracks themselves. If anything, they become slightly stale over hour-long sessions.
Further to this, its other main issue is that of the fairly steep price for the offering of a 3-5 hour single-player experience. Still, don’t eliminate what is a very fun and enjoyable experience supported by a small smorgasbord of characters, moves, tracks and locations.
Something which is great about the game on the other hand is its wonderful cartoon/drawing sketch style graphics. It matches incredibly well with the dance moves, creating frame-by-frame satisfying responsive gameplay reinforced by its effective graphics.
The characters contain their own limited personalities as illustrated through their sixteen available moves and four different combos. Unlocking four moves for one character will unlock one combo, eight another, until you’ll unlock all sixteen moves and the four combos for each of the eight characters.
In order to unlock these characters though, you will have to impress them at one of the locations where they’ll be watching your moves carefully, waiting to be stunned enough so that they feel compelled to join your crew in world dance domination. This drives you to perform even better at certain locations and on certain tracks. Even more so considering each track has an unlockable five star rating.
See, you will attain five stars on a track by earning enough points. These are gained through move variety, rhythm, crowd requests and diversity of moves. Each of these elements themselves combine into five categories – flavour, funk, flow, fire and flyness – and by combining all of these you will reach your dancing potential and transfer the energy of the universe into unforgettable grooves and moves.
Even though I will defend the Floor Kids crew and the truly great potential that this game teases for the future, the asking price is too steep for the short single-player experience that it provides. That being said, it shouldn’t prevent you from picking up this indie title whenever you find it on sale. I’m sure you’ll be found to have a funky fly time with it, and the comic-book style cutscenes shown in-between each location best illustrate the polish that this indie game contains.
Floor Kids on Xbox One has been carefully and lovingly crafted, seems to contain no bugs or glitches, and shows great potential both in conception and execution. I would love to see this game expanded and improved infinitely, as I believe this could be a great one-off rhythm-based game which we never got in the genre’s prime. The script within each comic-book cutscene reflect to the player as genuine and transparent, not unlike the game itself. This comes through care, attention to detail, and originality.
Keep dancing. Keep feeling. Keep grooving, and let the universe guide you to Floor Kids. Though perhaps when it’s on sale.