Some people crave adventure. They feel it in their toes. It’s the sense of achievement after coming back from an escapade, going somewhere exciting, or doing something new. Whatever your previous exploits are, Microsoft is here to try and top them. Climbed a mountain? Pfft! Wrestled a crocodile and wear its front tooth around your neck? In comparison, such achievements are poor when you put them against Kinect Adventures.
Kinect Adventures comes bundled with the Kinect, a wise move by Microsoft, getting this game into everybody’s hands, although I would have happily paid full whack for this game because it’s just pure fun from the moment you turn it on. Of course, there are a couple of catches, you have to have a good 8ft of playing space, and a friend whom you can depend on - neither of which come bundled with Kinect, unfortunately. Of course, it’s bundled in for a reason, and that’s to show off the prowess of the almighty Kinect.
What’s this cheeky little camera all about? Kinect Adventures embarks on a quest to find out just that.
Five adventures await you inside, 20,000 Leaks, River Rush, Rallyball, Reflex Ridge and Space Pop. They’re all great games in their own right, although some stand head and shoulders above the others – River Rush, for example, the game you see advertised everywhere, is a barrel of laughs. You (and an optional friend) have to raft down a lake dotted with ramps, shortcuts, and collectable coins. You control your avatar on the screen, and you steer by strafing left and right, and to jump – well, you jump. When playing with a friend you have to be a little more co-ordinated, strafe together, jump together, and fall over together – it’s the perfect ice breaker if you’re hoping to pull. “Ooops, I fell on top of you! Oh dear.”
20,000 Leaks is good fun. You’re in a glass container at the bottom of the sea, getting pummelled by fierce fish and hammerhead sharks. As you would expect, that kind of behaviour would cause your air tight container to leak – so you have to plug them with your hands, and as the sharks keep coming, the leaks get harder to plug, eventually you’re on all fours plugging leaks with your hands, knees and feet! If you’re feeling fit, Reflex Ridge is a decent one to test your coordination and dodging capabilities on a moving train, jumping, ducking and diving, dodging obstacles to get to your goal – with a friend, you play competitive head to head in a race to the finish line, a bit of rivalry never hurt anyone.
There’s quite a lot of sparkle to be found in Kinect Adventures, the music is jolly – albeit screams family fun, and the visuals are stunning in HD, especially the water effects, which look good enough to swim in! While most games for the Kinect suffer from a split second of lag, Kinect Adventures seems to be the most accurate I’ve seen on my travels. This makes for an impressive, promising demonstration for what the future may hold for Kinect.
It’s hard to be ungrateful when you get a game for nothing, but the 5 Adventures, as fun as they are, don’t last very long. The game is most definitely enjoyed more with a friend, but playing these same 5 games over and over on your own is a recipe for some serious boredom a couple of weeks down the line. Admittedly, games like Wii Sports have become timeless classics, and the content on Kinect Adventure is roughly about the same, but there’s something more re-playable about sports, whereas plugging leaks for fun can get a little tiresome. That said, add friends, better yet, add friends and beer, and you’re destined to have a great time.
Kinect Adventures is a worthy game, and it makes the initial outlay for the cost of Kinect almost seem worth it. My mum always used to say that the best kind of adventure is one you don’t have to pay for, made from good times and spontaneity – a free adventure. What more could you want?
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