Another hard-core game from Microsoft shows us what can be done with its innovative motion-sensing Kinect technology. Well…not quite.
While adults are still waiting for that hard-core ‘killer app’ game that’ll make all us Kinect owners point and laugh at our Kinect-less compatriots, we can rest easy in the fact that the Kinect remains superb for entertaining the kids, even if titles like Kinect Rush: A Disney Pixar Adventure don’t exactly push the boundaries.
Having already skipped around a virtual Disneyland with my two-year old in Kinect Disneyland Adventures (check out my review here), we both entered Kinect Rush’s Pixar Park with some idea of what it was going to be like. Kinect Rush uses the same formula as the aforementioned title, allowing players to experience a series of episodic mini-games based on Pixar’s hit animated films.
The game starts by creating a Pixar character based on the players themselves. This requires players to stand still whilst the Kinect scans in the relevant information - sounds simple enough, but it can be challenging to get an excited child to stand still for a moment. Two can play at once, but single players are joined by an Xbox 360-controlled buddy. With the character creation out of the way, the players are whisked to the gates of Pixar Park.
The location features five different areas, themed on the Pixar movies Toy Story, The Incredibles, Cars, Ratatouille and Up. Each area features a series of play-sets that serve as gateways to further games, and as players progress, more episodes become available in the movie area.
The games themselves are very similar to those in Kinect Disneyland Adventures, being semi on-rails affairs in which the player controls an on-screen character by twisting their body, running on the spot, jumping, and balancing using their arms. There are also some fun driving sequences, controlled by moving your outstretched arms in front of you as if grasping a steering wheel, similar to the Kinect mode in Forza 4.
The games themselves are not particularly taxing, the emphasis being on fun rather than providing a challenge. Some sequences are simply Sonic-style coin grabs; others are rather more intricate puzzles that make good use of the Kinect’s gesturing capabilities. In every case, the more coins picked up, the better the score.
The graphics in Kinect Rush are superb, lovingly recreating the characters and look of the Pixar movies. Each movie-themed game perfectly captures the unique art style of its big-screen counterpart.
Of course, Kinect Rush is fraught with all the control issues that are usual with any Kinect game, particularly where the lighting isn’t 100% perfect. But being a kid’s game, don’t let this put you off; pinpoint accuracy isn’t a requirement and so the odd iffy response isn’t going to mess things up too much.
If you are looking for some Kinect-based fun for your family, Kinect Rush: A Disney Pixar Adventure will provide exactly what you are after. For fans of Kinect Disneyland Adventures, Kinect Rush is more of the same, and could easily be considered almost an expansion pack. That being said, Kinect Disneyland Adventures does a much better job and is, in my opinion, a better value package. In any case, I’d advise that you have a set of the Pixar movies on hand as the game does a marvellous job of marketing the films to kids.
Lasting appeal: 7.5