I know that nearly every games studio is trying to jump onto the Kinect bandwagon at the moment, but this is getting a little tiresome. None of the Kinect games that I’ve reviewed recently have done well, and latest disaster to head my way is Games Party: In Motion. This time around you have 16 mediocre games to try out, each one more idiotic than the last. Rather than bore you all by dissecting each of these pointless endeavors, I’ll pick out the ones that I actually played more than once.
The first game I tried out was Rootbeer Tapper. I played this game at E3 when Kinect was first on public display, and while the game’s concept was fun it was very buggy and didn’t respond well to my movements. The objective of the game is that you work in a bar and have to slide drinks down the bar counter to patrons walking towards you. Just stand in front of the bar you want to serve, stick your hand straight out, and a rootbeer will go sailing down the counter to your customer. This game had me jumping around madly to serve customers, and was actually quite fun. But from then on it was all downhill, with the next game being Table Hockey. Whichever genius decided to turn air hockey into a Kinect mini-game needs to have their head examined. Obviously there are numerous control issues as it is impossible to play the game by simply ‘feeling’ in mid air for a puck that is whizzing around the table. I often ended up scoring in my own goal or losing complete control of the paddle, so much so that I had to quit the game half way through out of sheer frustration.
The next game up for abuse was racquetball or some sort of tennis meets squash hybrid. Your avatar holds a racquet in each hand, and your objective is to hit a ball down a corridor which magically makes a 90 degree turn and then propels itself towards your opponent. Can someone explain both the logic and the physics behind this game? I stood there dumbfounded as balls zoomed past me, and even when I flailed my arms in desperation, I was at best only able to return three serves. The abuse continued with the next game which was a kind of whack-a-mole minigame except with trolls. This was another fruitless attempt as the game would easily recognize my hands whacking the trolls, but it didn’t do so great with my feet. The last game I tried out was darts, which was a complete joke as there is no way to accurately aim or even figure out how to throw properly. There are other games to punish yourself with such as horseshoe tossing, hoop shoot and more, but the control scheme seems to fly out the window with each one. It’s not that the games are hard to play – some of them are painfully simple, but even the most basic gestures seem to be ignored, leading to some tragically failed minigames.
Games Party: In Motion is another title that feebly embraces Kinect, and does so with the grace and style of a elephant on a unicycle. Boring minigames and frustratingly inaccurate controls bog the game down significantly. The sub-par avatar graphics aren’t exactly going to knock you off your feet, so the burning question at the end of the day is who in their right mind would pick this game up.