Saturday, March 31

Review: Floor Kids [Nintendo Switch eShop]

Having been in band growing up, music and rhythm games have always had a certain appeal to me. Between the enjoyment of listening to interesting and great music and then getting to play along with the beat there’s something very relaxing and satisfying about the experience, even when gameplay can get hectic. Without a tremendous amount of competition in the space Floor Kids does a pretty solid job of filling out the genre roster on the system, though longevity will probably vary from person to person.

The goal in the game is to represent yourself through your funky breakdancing style in a variety of venues, mixing it up to the back beat of a fine variety of tracks. The music, care of Kid Koala, never really lets you down, so it’s all on you to deliver a 5-star performance. To do this you’ll need to come to terms with your core moveset, with everything breaking down into Up Rock, Down Rock, Power, and Freeze moves. At the start these simply correspond to specific combinations of joystick direction and specific button presses, but as you learn and become more accustomed to everything you’ll find that additional small flourishes can enhance those basic moves and help drive up your score.

A major difference in the way the game plays is that rather being hyper-focused on your keeping the beat or matching rhythms constantly (though that does help overall) the focus is more on keeping things fresh and mixing things up. While each dancer you’ll unlock has their own preferred style and core moves in order to do your best you’ll generally want to be sure to touch on each move over the course of your routine. At both the mid-section and end of you showing your moves there’s then a section where you’ll need to work to match the rhythm on-screen for bonus points as well, so even with the free-flowing fun having a tight grasp on the beats of the music is still very much in your best interest.

Probably the biggest criticism of the game is that, overall, with the exception of maximizing your scores to 5-star every song in every location and unlocking each member of the crew there’s no real competition per se. Your greatest enemy is always yourself, though if you have someone of comparable skill to play against locally that can help deal with this issue. You’re really just dancing for your own satisfaction in the end, there’s not really any story or rivals to give you an extra push to do better. Pair that with the fact that as you learn what works to get higher scores you’ll increasingly find yourself falling into familiar patterns that you know drive your score and it can even get a bit repetitive as you grind to get your scores in shape.

If you love great music and want to have something to simply groove to and enjoy Floor Kids comes pretty highly recommended. The soundtrack is superb, the flow for the most part feels very natural, and it can be very satisfying to play. If you’re more in search of objectives and challenges though, it won’t be a great match as that really doesn’t fall into its style of design. Overall, it’s a solid game that I’d love to see get a more directed sequel, one that could help provide some needed motivation.

Score: 8

  • Terrific tracks care of Kid Koala
  • A unique art style that works well
  • A rhythm game that even people who struggle a bit can enjoy

  • Unlocking each area and crew member is nice but there’s nothing really driving you to push yourself further
  • Once you find combos that help drive up your points the freedom of doing your own thing tends to fade if you want to maximize your score
  • Though there is a 2-player mode but it really depends on you and someone else being well-matched to be fun