If you’re not amongst the eight million-plus people who’ve already jumped aboard Microsoft’s infectious Kinect party train, then there is currently no better time to do so. A brand new Kinect bundle has just launched on zavvi.com, and the package is comprised of a Kinect unit and two games; Kinect Joy Ride and Kinect Adventures. We reviewed the entire first-party side of Kinect’s launch line-up just after it launched (right before Christmas last year) and you can still check that out here.
Kinect Joy Ride Review
A kart racer probably wasn’t a genre title that many people expected to launch alongside Kinect, but Microsoft have managed to craft a quietly distinctive and enjoyable game nonetheless. Once you get used to the control scheme – you hold your hands out in front of you as if you’re gripping an invisible steering wheel – it’s a fun and thoroughly unique experience, with aspects like acceleration and gear shifts taken care of by the game. There is an enjoyable boosting mechanic (triggered by pulling your hands back and then lunging forward) and although some hardcore console gamers may wish that they were using a traditional control method at first, much like Nintendo’s Mario Kart on the Wii with its steering wheel peripheral, it’s very rewarding once you properly get your head around it. Joy Ride is about as accessible as a game of this kind can be, and shows the true weight of Kinect’s ability to appeal to almost everyone.
Kinect Adventures Review
Although it perhaps doesn’t scale the dizzy heights of Nintendo’s Wii Sports, Kinect Adventures comes a very close second in the pantheon of all-time-great console freebies. Probably second only to Kinect Sports in its ability to wow you with what Kinect can do, it’s a bright, breezy and genuinely addictive collection of highly amusing little minigames. Although the structure of play is completely linear – you progress simply by unlocking each difficulty tier one after another – you’re compelled to move on by the sheer strength of the minigames themselves, but also by the little reward ‘statues’ that are spliced in between each batch of challenges. Your voice is recorded, layered with different special effects and then plastered on top of things like chipmunks or your own avatar, as he or she panics whilst trapped between the jaws of a giant shark. These mini-movies never stop being amusing, and can be saved and/or shared online. But even without these clever little comedy morsels, Kinect Adventures is simply a terrific collection of upbeat, family-friendly minigames.
Watch the Kinect Joy Ride trailer here: