Party season is almost upon us and you know what that means – the latest Just Dance game is here, ready to liven up the cold, dark evenings with some colourful dancing. What better way to avoid having to turn on the heating than by getting a sweat on following the energetic moves?
Just Dance 2024 Edition features forty new songs spanning a variety of genres, ripped from different decades. We must admit that as each new version of Just Dance comes along the number of songs that we’ve heard of gets lower and lower. Whether that’s because of the inclusion of more international acts that just don’t get radio play in the UK or because we’re getting older we’re not sure, but a few of the songs that you can dance along to in Just Dance 2024 are “Butter” by BTS, “Canned Heat” by Jamiroquai, “Don’t Cha” by The Pussycat Dolls Ft. Busta Rhymes, “Flowers” by Miley Cyrus, “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” by Whitney Houston and “I’m Good (Blue)” by David Guetta & Bebe Rexha.
The game promises free content updates on an ongoing basis with new music, features, and rewards throughout the year. That includes the opportunity to take part in seasonal events with free songs and playlists for a limited time.
And if those forty songs included aren’t enough, you get access to a free one-month trial to Just Dance+, the subscription-based streaming service, which gives access to even more tracks, both from past Just Dance games and to new exclusive ones arriving each season. If you do buy the game now it’s worth holding off on installing Just Dance+ to make sure you have the full quota of games available for any festive get-togethers you might have, as the number of decent tracks in the main game is limited.
If you are playing with friends, it’s good to know that up to six players can join the game using their phone as a controller. If you are already a Just Dance fan there’s no need to install a new app – the Just Dance controller app from Just Dance 2023 is compatible. Once you have connected your device to the game, your phone becomes a controller, allowing you to navigate around the interface, saving those precious controller batteries.
Searching up the perfect track is easy enough and there are plenty of ways to do this. First up, if you head to the homepage you can see all the Just Dance 2024 Edition songs. As with previous versions, the display is arranged a bit like that of Netflix; hovering over each song card will show you some information about the track and you get a snippet of the song.
There are also playlists including a daily curated one with hand-picked songs just for you, presumably based on the types of songs you have chosen in the past. Here you can also access “Dance with the Swan”, a playlist that serves as a story playlist for the game. This is a sequel to “Enter the Danceverses” from Just Dance 2023 and features its main characters in new routines. Each song acts as part of the story but if you don’t like one you can skip it, the same as in all playlists. More playlists can be found in the dedicated playlists tab including the intriguingly titled ‘beach, summer & vampires’.
If you have Just Dance+ installed then it might be easier to search for the songs of your choice via filters – choreo styles (solo, duo etc), music genres, moods (happy, epic, romantic), decades (our favourite way to search – none of that new fangled music for us oldies – stick on some ‘90s please) and accessibility (jump free – again for the oldies, along with seated etc).
Taking a look at the older songs allows you to see just how much Just Dance has progressed in terms of the visuals, with the 2024 edition not disappointing on that front. Each song comes with a coach performing well-choreographed dance moves in colourful costumes with lots going on in the background, most of which will be missed by the players dancing but is entertaining for anyone watching, Plus, there are lyrics on the screen for the non-dancers to join the party, karaoke style.
As always, the dances have different difficulties: easy, medium, hard and different efforts (chill, moderate, intense). Some songs come in different flavours either offering an extreme version with harder dance moves and a slightly different look, a fitness version with aerobic moves or versions with completely different visuals. For example, the song “Cure for Me” by AURORA has a regular version with the usual coach and a paper version, which looks like a stop-motion capture with a paper figure coach.
If you’re not partying, you can also use Just Dance 2024 Edition as a way of getting in some exercise. Workout mode is activated by a press of RB and allows you to activate a calorie counter that slightly changes the interface, tracking how many calories you burn while dancing, during the entire session.
The only new feature we can spot is that of a Challenge mode that allows you to challenge someone’s performance on the songs leaderboards and compete against them, although not in real time.
As with previous Just Dance games there is the ability to unlock backgrounds, aliases, avatars, borders and emotes to customise your profile, all seen by others on the leaderboards. If this is a part of the game that is important to you (we can’t say it is for us), there are multiple to unlock.
If you’ve ever played a Just Dance game before you’ll be familiar with the gameplay. Holding your phone in your hand and waving it around in the right rhythm will score you points and feedback – either OK, good, perfect or super. Each song features three ‘yeah’ moves and hitting one of these will ramp up your score and give you a pleasing golden glow. At the end of the song you’re given a score, a star rating out of five and a place on the global and friends leaderboard. The fact that you don’t have to follow the moves exactly is the reason why many people will love Just Dance 2024 Edition – it allows people of all ages and dancing abilities to get stuck in without feeling a complete dancing novice. However, you can also see why it’s not the game for those who take dancing more seriously.
As complete novice dancers we always enjoy playing the Just Dance games, and Just Dance 2024 Edition is no exception. It doesn’t come with a whole load in terms of new features, but why change a formula that has worked so well in the past?