Friday, 24 June 2011

Kinect Adventures review

Kinect Adventures is the official Kinect launch title, and is packed in the box with brand new Kinect Sensors. Serving as more of a tech demo and introduction to controller free gaming, it gives players a chance to get used to using their body to control games, and to give an idea as to what future Kinect titles may include.

KA has five different minigames, which include deflecting balls to break blocks, floating around in a zero gravity chamber trying to pop balloon type objects, controlling a white water raft, blocking leaks with your hands and feet, and dodging poles as you travel down a railway track. An odd variety of activities, certainly, but that's no bad thing. Having the games too similar would reduce the amount of time it keeps you hooked even more.
Pop the space bubbles...

The main problem is, with the title Adventures, you would expect just that. But the five games mentioned above just aren't very adventurous. And there's nothing adventurous about completing five minigames repeatedly, with only slight variations each time. Popping balloons in space is only fun once, and even the first time it's not great. The most fun to play are Rally Ball and Reflex Ridge. Rally Ball sees you hitting balls with your body down a narrow corridor, with the intention of breaking bricks. As the balls come back to you, you must manipulate your on screen avatar by moving into the position that you would like it, to stop the balls from passing you. It's a fast game, which requires split second reactions and some good stamina, but it is probably the most fun of the bunch. Reflex ridge requires you to jump, duck and lean, as you try to avoid small barriers designed to hit you. As well as this, you must collect Adventure pins. The best way to describe these would be currency. You collect them in order to advance through the main Adventure mode. Each level of adventure is based on one of the minigames, and you must play different versions of the same game in order to rack up the Adventure Pins and complete the adventure.

Upon completion of each adventure, you are rewarded with a Living Statue, avatar award and achievements. The Living Statues provide quite a lot of the overall fun that the game will give you. To not give away spoilers, only one early Living Statue will be referenced, and that will be the shark. Jump to make the shark jump, swish your backside to make the shark swish his tail. Simple but kinda fun, and the ability to upload your creations (as well as random shots of yourself jumping around) to a special Kinect Adventures website is a great feature, and allows you to share your creations with not only other players, but with friends on social networking sites.
Rally Ball is definitely worth a try

Adventures is a great family game, and will keep the kids interested for weeks. Teenagers and above will lose interest after just a couple of hours however, as only so much fun can be had from five games that last a minute or so each. Still, it's an introduction to the Kinect Sensor, and it could have been much worse. Such a shame then that it could have been so much better.

6/10

by Louis Gardner

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