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6 Reviews

Kinect Adventures

Modern Explore Fare

They are incessant. They are merciless. They will not give in until you have succumbed.

Some helm helicopters, dropping suspect packages from the clouds. Some leave you clues of how to best overcome your next vibrant prison. All of them want you to leave you grinning like The Joker on methamphetamine.

At every turn of Kinect Adventures' non-stop hullabaloo, they are watching. When it feels like your cranium is being repeatedly battered by a colossal, Technicolor exclamation mark - and it will - they are in control.

They are the cause of your headaches and your dehydration. And yet they have no name.

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Say hello to Kinect Adventures' ruthlessly gleeful battalion of fixed-smile joy-thugs.

This doggedly cheerful mafia stomp on any sign of misandry or bashfulness. Early indications suggest they may be both powered and distinguished by their intravenous E-Number of choice.

They are the merrymaking minions of the game's exotic island locale - and they will not stop until every remnant of your sheepish self-awareness has been violently, vibrantly asphyxiated.

The tyrants at the apex of this twisted, chirpy caste are Rob and Amelia. They're the only ones you're ever allowed to communicate with.

Overpoweringly upbeat, they are Adventures' polygonal pimples of play. And they ooze mirthful menace.

"We're experts at adventuring!" Amelia boasts within seconds of arrival in your living room. "And we're experts at goofing off!" spits Rob.

Already want them to go away? Dream on.

They are your parents now.

Later, they'll taunt you for accomplishing Adventures' easiest levels.

"The rewards on that later level are crazy!"... "Good thing we've been working on our stamina!"

Speak for yourself. I'm knackered.

These ferocious, youthful demands are more threatening than anything you've experienced on Xbox before. Forget Condemned, Alan Wake, BioShock: An hour with Kinect Adventures feels like being drowned in the hyperactive ball pool of a particularly shouty children's theme restaurant. It's terrifying.

It shouldn't shock you, then, that the game is very fond of a lot of things you probably are not.

Pictures that make you look like a gurning berk, for one - all captured by an in-game camera which knows exactly when you're going to be pulling a laughably 'macho' pose, legs akimbo, with your tongue lolloping out in concentration.

Puns, too: Literally any chance to cram in a bit of groan-worthy wordplay is wrung to the max. So we get an underwater level where you have to clog up cracks in your tank called "20,000 Leaks!". We earn an Achievement after bouncing about in the jaws of a sea predator called "Jump The Shark!". Our most embarrassing Polaroids are dubbed things like "Ants In Your Pants!" and "Hokey Pokey!".

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But, in reality, what did we expect? Kinect Adventures is proof-of-concept software for a device made to beguile just the sort of Cheese String-munchers who'll show no resistance to Rob and Ameila's imposition. And you know what? It's pretty solid at what it's been created to do. It's just a shame that there just isn't that much of it.

Microsoft boasts that there are over 20 'adventures' for you to try in the game, but in truth, there are five: River Rush (zipping down rapids on circular dinghies); Rally Ball (kicking and slapping rubber spheres to knock down blocks of wood); Reflex Ridge (pulling yourself along a conveyor, ducking, jumping and hopping sideways to avoid obstacles); Space Pop (flapping your arms in an airless chamber to pop bubbles on a starship); and the aforementioned 20,000 Leaks (plugging holes in an underwater tank made by combative sea life).

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