"Get the Lead Out!"
Kinect Adventures is a collection of active games that comes bundled with Kinect for Xbox 360. As you might expect, the game serves as demonstration software for the motion tracking camera. Thankfully, there’s just enough fun and energy-sapping action in this title to make it a bit more than just a tech demo.
Kinect Adventures does a great job of showing off just what Kinect can do in terms of controller-free gaming. After quickly calibrating Kinect to your space, you’ll have precise control over your onscreen avatar. A few control issues crop up here and there, but the overall experience is surprisingly accurate and very satisfying.
- Two-player Rallyball will have you giggling -
The biggest draw of the game, other than putting the brand new Kinect through its paces, is the frantic action on offer. Kinect Adventures has players jump, dodge, steer and flap their way through five different activities. Playing for an extended period of time definitely gets the blood flowing and the sweat beading. It’s very fun to play in such an active way, and it’s easy to get completely swept up in the immersion. On the downside, Kinect Adventures only has five activities to play through, two of which aren’t much fun at all.
Rallyball, River Rush, Reflex Ridge, 20,000 Leaks, and Space Pop are the five games players can participate in. All games can be played with one or two players locally, and the activities get more challenging over time. Throughout each game, Adventure Pins are awarded to players which serve to quantify their success by adding up to bronze, silver, and gold medals. Earn enough pins and medals, and players will unlock Living Trophies (which record and mimic your voice and actions) and even Avatar rewards. Also, Kinect Adventures does a good job of satisfying players’ efforts with timely unlocks and candid, in-game photos (similar to what you’d expect at a theme park after riding a rollercoaster).
Rallyball is perhaps the best-known game, as it has been used as the primary demonstration program for Kinect since E3 2009 and the Project Natal days. Rallyball has players kick, head and swat at red rubber balls, launching them down a corridor in order to bash blocks and targets and collect Adventure Pins. In River Rush, players stand in a raft, guiding the craft down the rapids by leaning and sidestepping their way through gates. Bonus pins and treasures are awarded for accessing tough to reach places by jumping onto platforms and launching off ramps.
- Adventure Pins ahoy! -
Reflex Ridge is an obstacle course that has players hop on to an on-rails platform and avoid padded arms and blockers as well as duck under bars and jump over hurdles. Every obstacle that’s cleared cleanly gives the player pins. There are also formations of pins scattered about the course which force players to contort their bodies into goofy shapes while doing their best to avoid the obstacles.
The last two games are the weakest of the bunch. 20,000 Leaks submerges players in a coral garden under the sea. Waves of fish do their best to crack the protective glass enclosure, and it’s up to the player to fix the leaks and cracks by covering them with their hands, feet and head. Space Pop has players collect liquid orbs in a zero-gravity capsule, flapping their arms to float around in a three-dimensional space. Unfortunately, this is the only game that doesn’t control very well, leading to a bit of frustration.
Adding to Kinect Adventures significantly, a second player can hop in or drop out at anytime. Often, the activities are much more enjoyable when cooperating or competing against another player. You can even take Kinect Adventures online, challenging friends or getting matched with unknowns. Also, online play allows you to chat via Kinect, so you won’t have to worry about toting a controller around while you play. Finally, free play and timed modes let you choose the activities you like best and challenge you to set new event records.
- Kinect is very responsive to your movements -
Kinect Adventures doesn’t feature outstanding visuals or sound, but the overall experience is captivating, regardless. The best part of the presentation is the pretty vistas, but you’ll probably be too busy jumping around while playing to really notice. The main menu musical theme is catchy, and the quality in-level variants keep the tunes fresh.
Kinect Adventures isn’t quite at the level of Nintendo’s bundled software offerings (Wii Sports) because of its lack of variety, but what is there is fun and will get you off the couch and into the Kinect spirit.
GameDynamo's Score for Kinect Adventures! (X360)
Cutting his gaming teeth at Aladdin's Castle and on the Commodore 64, JC entered into video game journalism in 2008. Helping run GameDynamo as its director is both a dream and a rewarding challenge.
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