Kinect Adventures Xbox 360 Review

January 31, 2011 by  
Filed under Xbox 360, Reviews & Features, Xbox

Publisher – Microsoft – Developer – Good Science Studio – Genre – Party – Players – 1-2 – Age Rating – 3+ – Other console/handheld formats – N/A

There’s been as much positive press as there has been negative about Microsoft’s Kinect, but the fact of the matter is that the device actually works. True, it may not operate in the manner that Microsoft originally envisioned, but it certainly serves the casual market admirably and games like Kinect Adventures shows just how much fun using Kinect can be.

Kinect Adventures is a pack-in game sold with every single Kinect and, like Wii Sports before it, it shows off just what the new tech is capable of, leaving many to dream of the future potential of Microsoft’s popular body tracking camera.

Kinect Adventures is comprised of five mini games. There are obviously some games that play better than others, but I’m glad to say that none of them are anything truly terrible.

This is obviously River Rush in two players. You look like an idiot playing this one, but if you're enjoying yourself, who cares?

20,000 Leaks has you moving around your living room to plug leaks from a virtual aquarium, using your real life body, which means everything from your head, hands, knees and feet, to stop the water flowing. Space Pop has you flapping your arms as if you’ve grown a pair of wings, with the aim being to pop bubbles, while Rally Ball has you getting your body in the way to hit balls in order to break objects. The latter three are fun enough, but my favourites are definitely Reflex Ridge and River Rush, both of which have you in larger levels as opposed to being confined to smaller virtual spaces and, because of this, they feel less limited. Reflex Ridge has you giving your body a work out through an obstacle course – ducking and jumping over obstacles and most likely causing yourself to sweat. River Rush, on the other hand, has you in a dingy and allows you to move to the side (even in mid air) and jump, which is just as much fun as it sounds.

Indeed, Kinect Adventures is generally fun but, as with the majority of Kinect games, you do look rather silly whilst playing it. If you don’t take yourself too seriously, though, this shouldn’t bother you one iota, nor will you mind about the silly photos that the game captures when playing. For those that do mind about such things, said photos can be turned off.

You may be able to unlock a fair bit if you’re just playing alone, including time challenges and avatar wear, but at heart Kinect Adventures is definitely a multiplayer game. It’s certainly one that should be mostly played in a group, even if you’re taking it in turns to play. Kinect is all about laughing at other people as well as yourself.

All of the games can be played in multiplayer, but this does demand a lot of space. The game won’t allow two physical players to play together unless they are at least eight feet away from Kinect, which just won’t be feasible for some. I certainly had to do a bit of frustrating rearranging in my living room, but if you are able to play with another like-minded silly person beside you, then same room multiplayer is a lot of fun. There’s online multiplayer as well, which obviously doesn’t suffer from the potentially frustrating problems of the local multiplayer.

As for negative points, for starters there just aren’t enough games in the package. Five is a fair number for a pack-in game, but a couple more would have been most welcome. It’s also a shame that the quality of the rest of the games don’t match up to that of Reflex Ridge and River Rush. These things hurt the package somewhat, but it’s still a lot of ridiculous fun.

This is one of the living statues, you can use your voice and movements to bring it to life.

Kinect Adventures is a likeably attractive package. True, it’s never going to win any awards for its visual design, but it’s still a delightful game to look at. River Rush is certainly the most eye catching, with its flowing rivers and the fluffy clouds in the skies, and the rest of the package serviceably does the job.

Kinect Adventures is a pack-in game that achieves the aim of demonstrating the sort of things that Kinect games can do, and, while not being consistently excellent over all five included games, all do offer some form of fun, even if it’s of the limited variety. It does exactly what it was supposed to do, nothing more, nothing less.