Much as I used to love playing them, it’s not a huge surprise that rhythm games never found too much footing outside of the arcade circuit. Increasing demands for specialized hardware and a focus on memorization of a set playlist means that they’re not the best of fits for home play, especially without a dance-pad or similar controller. Breakdancing-themed game Floor Kids is different, with a focus on freestyle competitive play and flow over rote memorization.
While key development credit goes to Canadian outfit MERJ Media, the artists that define this game are animator JonJon and the scratch-happy DJ Kid Koala (formerly of Deltron 3030), who provides the beats that you’ll be moving to. It’s a stylish pairing, and while the limited number of artists involved does give this game a somewhat narrower stylistic scope than many rhythm games, it’s impossible to deny that it’s got a unique look and sound to it.
As you’ve probably noticed from the trailer above, outside of a few distinct rhythm challenges, there’s no note-chart to follow in Floor Kids. For the most part, you’ll be dancing freestyle, trying to elegantly chain as many moves as you can to the beat without breaking your combo. Like a more stationary Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater, then. Each character has their own repertoire of moves and there’s some technique involved in chaining from one trick to the next, so it shifts the focus of the game from learning the track itself to learning your character while matching the beat.
The game was released on Switch late last year, but the PC version is about three weeks away yet, set for launch on May 16th. Looking at reviews of the console original, it was pretty well received on the whole, with common complaints being that it’s a bit short as a single-player experience, but can be a lot of fun when two good players really start competing. You can follow or wishlist the game on Steam here.