The Kinnect for Xbox One was considered by many to not only be a waste of time, but also forced on us. A great idea in theory, but the execution left a lot to be desired. With a lot of games just not meeting the mark and being largely ignored. Only Xbox Fitness garnered any real interest, and even that is being discontinued. Step up Through Games, who unperturbed by the negative press for the Kinnect, went ahead and developed FRU. An interesting title that incorporates the Kinnect and controller to play the game. But here’s the thing, it works. And it works very well indeed.
The controls are simple to get to grips with, both analogue sticks perform the same action of moving you through the game world and both triggers perform the jump action. You silhouette acts as a portal between both worlds, allowing you to cross otherwise impenetrable walls and platforms. Or make them appear. FRU really is unique game in many ways, and makes the Kinnect a worthwhile piece of kit to own. I hope it’s not a case of “too little, too late” as Through Games have created a wonderful game, that anyone with a Kinnect should seriously consider purchasing, and giving it a home in their collection.
FRU is not a game that is big in size, but it is big in detail. Levels can be completed in multiple ways, depending on how you perceive the solution to a level to be. Each chapter adds a new element to the game, making it just that little bit trickier to complete each level. Of which a single screen represents each level. Plenty of obstacles litter the path as you forge ahead,. The silhouette not only allows you to bring the other world into view, but the ability to swim inside your silhouette. Moving closer to your Kinnect will be helpful in some cases, as will moving away. I even used the laptop to help me on a few occasions. The Kinnect picks up your body outline perfectly so long as you have adequate lighting in the room.
The graphics of FRU are gorgeous, with no visible issues with the silhouette on-screen causing any difficulty moving between the two worlds. It is up there as one of the best looking Indie games available for Xbox One, and it is a pleasure to look at. A cute and moody look has been designed, with a temple setting in mind. The back story is revealed in between chapters, and the Kinnect has to be used to reveal the story with still pictures. All executed very well.
Musically, FRU excels here, with a beautifully presented ambient score to perfectly match the mood of the game. I never once got tired of it, with the relaxing tones, and fun gameplay to work alongside it in perfect harmony. Yes, I know it’s a terrible pun. But try FRU for yourself, and you will likely be in agreement with me.
Game play with Kinnect and controller has been perfectly executed, and the only problem you will have is how to complete a level. Sometimes the solution will present itself instantly, while other times, you will have a trial and error scenario to overcome. The puzzles are not that hard, and you will be able to complete the game’s 4 chapters quite quickly. This could be seen as a negative, but Through Games have obviously wanted you to experience the full game without having to give up on a section that is far too hard to complete.
FRU does not have many downfalls for me to talk about, aside from the short game time, it does a fantastic job of utilising the Kinnect, and I hope it continues to have games released for it of this caliber. Through Games deserve praise for their efforts, and I sincerely hope that they will carry on developing Indie titles, and even those that have Kinnect integration. They understand how it works, and know how a game should work with it.
The price is certainly justified, despite the quick completion. But given the amount of work involved, worth every penny. You will also have a bonus Co-op mode, which is unlocked should you find the 24 golden masks with the game. I have not found them all myself, but I will be hunting them all out just to give this a try. A goo way to describe the contortions you have to pull off when playing FRU, is a game of Twister, but instead of hands and feet on the floor, your hands and feet are all over the place for some puzzles. Even used my bum to get myself to the end of a level. Needless to say, it may cause a bit of pain, and exhaustion, but the bottom line is; FRU is worth buying, and you wont regret it. With many different ways to complete each puzzle no 2 playthrough’s will be the same.
To summarise, this may be the last game we see for Kinnect, and if this si the case, then I couldn’t suggest a better swan song for it. Should Through Games be able to develop a new game, I am confident that we will receive another top quality game to contort our body into shapes we never dreamed of. If you’re not 100% sure, then wait for a sale. But either way, you will enjoy the experience on offer.
REVIEW CODE: Here at Brash Games we have a strict Review Code policy, Paul Ryan owner / editor is the only member of staff at Brash Games permitted to obtain review code and distribute it within the Brash Games review team. No other person is permitted to request review code and or send review links or contact the publishers in any way whatsoever. Should you wish to send us review code please email paulryan-at-brashgames.co.uk.
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