Back in my junior high and high school years there were many different types of dances I loved to perform. In the gaming medium I was a Dance-Dance Revolution champion back in the day, but the one type of dance I could never get the hang of it was breakdancing. Kids would gather in a hallway during lunch and have dance-offs, seeing who could spin on their head or bounce on one arm. This made me jealous because I never had the chance to really get into breakdancing, but thankfully developer Merj Media’s title Floor Kids has now given me the chance to become the breakdancing champion I’ve always wanted to be.
Floor Kids is a breakdancing rhythm title that sounds crazy to try and implement as a video game given the dancing fad has died down. However, anyone who’s seen a breakdancer even for a second know’s of that small desire to be able to do it and Floor Kids brings this to you with a beautiful hand-drawn art style and great music.
When Floor Kids starts, you choose your starting character and hit the streets. Each location has a story, that is shown in a comic book fashion, and the locations are unlocked by earning a specific number of stars. Inside the location, you’ll find three songs that allow you to earn up to five stars each. This may sound generic at first, considering many other titles already implement a star rating system, but Floor Kids has a very unique appeal.
As the music starts you make your character dance of course, and this is accomplished by using a combination of the face buttons for basic moves, up/down and bumper buttons for variations, and rotating the analog stick for power moves. As you change these moves your character dances and it’s so much fun to watch. Your little guy or girl goes back and forth, up and down, does flips, slides side to side, and spins on their back and head. You choose what moves the character does where and when, but it always feels like it fits the music perfectly.
You receive basic points by hitting the button in time with the beat and you can receive more points by changing up the moves to make sure you perform each of the sixteen possible moves. Throughout the song your crowd will request different moves types and meeting their demands allows you to earn even more points. You only have a certain amount of time to make these moves happen, which is faster and faster as you move on the more difficult levels.
The final way to gain extra points can easily be the different between either receiving three, four, or five stars. Twice during each song you must tap a button in time with the notes to make the song. This is denoted by X’s placed along a line and after each of these sets, it will display the percent of notes you hit and how many misses you had. The small errors while performing can make the differences in scores as much as 5,000 points off, so you can see how this could knock you down to two or three stars.
By earning stars, you’ll be able to unlock future locations. Beyond that, earning three or more stars during a song gives you a character card for a character in the crowd. When you get four cards for one character that person will be unlocked. Each character has their own moves which are fun to watch, but they also have their own strengths and weaknesses as well. On top of that, you’re required to unlock all characters before playing the final location.
As with many games that have you earning stars, Floor Kids is easy to play but hard to master. During the early levels I was easily able to hit four stars every time and even receive five stars on a few levels. Once I reached the middle levels the difficulty ramped up considerably and even receiving three stars was beginning to get difficult. By the time I played the final song, the music and crowd requests were moving so fast that I was surprised I even passed.
Overall, Floor Kids is one of those rhythm games that’s irresistible and you’ll keep coming back to. Watching the characters dance and knowing it was me making it happen brought me as close as I could ever get to actually breakdancing. Along with the great music and cool art style, Floor Kids is easy to recommend for anyone looking for a fun rhythm experience.