Floor Kids, in a nutshell, is a breakdance battle game that merges its concept with button combo gameplay. For me, PaRappa the Rapper stands as a prime example as to how to truly nail the formula correctly. Floor Kids, on the other hand, places too many of its eggs in a single basket, and doesn’t quite do enough to stand firm by today’s standards. I’m not saying that there’s no fun at all to be had here, but its lack of story, its short length, and its thin serving of material, collectively makes for a game that sadly falls victim to repetition.
Indeed, Floor Kids is a short game, but it’s one of those games that will take a good while to master it. Here, you’re a street dancer, one that will travel to many different locations and dance to some rather funky and interesting tunes. That, by and large, is the basis of play. You’re free to select from one of eight different characters, with a total of four different styles of dancing, and four different moves in each; offering sixteen moves per-character. There’s no story. Instead, you can dive into the single player mode or the two player mode.
Once you begin, you’re treated to a tutorial video that feeds you into the basics of the game. Here, you’ll be shown the different styles of dance; top rock, down rock, power, and freeze. These are the four basics, to which you can then achieve different moves in each of these categories. Like I said, there’s a total of sixteen different moves per-whack. So that’s four in top rock, four in down rock, four in power, and so forth. Now, to achieve a dance of your choosing, you simply need to tap the controller’s face buttons in time with the beat.
For example, to top rock, you’ll press the face buttons in any order that you like (again, keeping in time with the beat) whilst pressing up on the thumbstick. To switch to down rock, simply push the thumbstick down and continue smashing those buttons. Freeze is simple to achieve too. Here, you’ll just need to use the left thumbstick and point it in any desired direction, matching that direction with the corresponding face buttons. Power, however, is slightly more complex, but not so much so that it chases away accessibility.
To achieve power, you’ll rotate the left thumbstick clockwise for one move, then hold RB for a follow up move. The other two moves can be tapped into via the opposite commands; rotating anti-clockwise and holding LB. That’s pretty much the bulk of the inputs. The game is split over a total of eight levels, ranging from the studio and grocery store, right up to the peace summit. Each level has three different music tracks for you to seamlessly bop along to throughout, none of which you will recognize as it’s all been made distinctly for the game.
When you’re dancing, you’ll be given a rating of up to five crowns. The better you do, the quicker you will unlock new dancers and levels. The game’s scoring system is fairly unique here, as you’re judged on many different things within, and not just the amount of moves that you can pull off. Scores encompass funk, flavor, flow, fire and flyness, each capped at a scoring of ten, giving potential to obtain a very high score overall. How do you achieve a decent score for each category? Well, it falls to understanding exactly what you need to do.
Funk is based on your beat accuracy and how well you can hold the beat. Flavor is all about the moves and how many you can pull off. Flow is about the amount of combos that you can sink. It’s important to understand that not all moves will feed into one another, however, the game will alert you with prompts if you can follow your current move up with a different one. Fire is about pleasing the crowd. The crowd will dish out prompts, and if followed, you’ll net a bonus. Finally, flyness charts how cocky you are; poses, taunts, flips and so on.
Really, it’s a simplistic experience that rewards skill and perseverance above anything else, but there’s just not much meat to its bones. It took me little over an hour and a half to reach the last level and unlock most of the players. Having said that, I do commend it for being well put together. It helps, of course, that the game looks and sounds decent, with some solid audio and visual design running through its veins. The multiplayer component is very much the same as the single player offering, though, one track is divided into four pieces here.
This is where you will take turns having a dance off against each other, with some added elements thrown in to give it a competitive edge, such as being able to hinder fluid routines. It’s fun, admittedly, but I don’t see much replay value beyond a few novelty games. There’s no support for online play, meaning that everything within, when it comes to multiplayer, is local only. Overall, if you’re looking for something to fill your afternoon, this may well be worth your time and attention, just don’t expect much depth, innovation or longevity.
Floor Kids isn’t a bad game per se, it’s actually quite fun during the initial stages of play. The drawback, however, is that the game fails to shake-up its formula throughout. Whilst there may well be some energetic variety as far as its dance mechanic and its character selection is concerned, there’s little else to get excited about. The end result ironically makes for a very monotonous experience, one that gets old, fast.
This game was tested and reviewed on Xbox One. All of the opinions and insights here are subject to that version.