By Gadjo Cardenas Sevilla
It is easy to dismiss the free game that comes with the Kinect sensor as one of the weaker offerings for the new controller but Kinect Adventures doesn't just provide an easy introduction to the Kinect for xBox, it is also one of the most engaging and entertaining titles for the new device.
Kinect Adventures is composed of 5 types of challenge-type games where the players' objective is to collect the most number of pins. It is the kind of title that's intuitive and easy enough to set up and as a result it is probably the first Kinect game anyone new to the system will get to play.
Kinect Adventures include 20,000 leaks (cover holes and leaks in an underwater cage), the super fun River Rush (steer a speeding raft down rapids and through obstacles), Rally Ball (a handball derivative), Reflex Ridge ( a full on timed obstacle course and one of the most tiring games for Kinect) and Space Pop (a slower handball type game).
These games can be played in succession where each level gets significantly more complex and difficult or can be played in a party-mode setting with players divided into teams. One of the best things about Kinect (aside from the fact it gets you moving, a lot) is the cooperative nature of the games and that it is perfect for groups of 4-6 people who don't mind taking turns playing.
Cooperative skills are necessary for many of the games specially River Rush which requires teammates to jump at the same time, tilt left, right and dodge oncoming obstacles. River Rush is the most visually impressive and fun to watch game in the title. We played the game on a Samsung LN55C650 55" inch HDTV and were really drawn in to the action, specially the parts when the raft jumps off a ramp and a long way down a waterfall. Video is seamless and the graphics are tack sharp as are the accompanying soound effects and music sountrack.
As the levels go higher, action becomes more frenetic (and intense) but players are rewarded with small trinkets like wristbands for your avatars or small pets. The most rewarding thing about Kinect Adventures is that you and a bunch of your friends can have hours of fun and get a pretty decent workout at the end.
All is not perfect with Kinect Adventures though, we found that the sensors sometimes miss tracking hands and feet ( the 20,000 leaks game is where we experienced this disconnect most often) which can cost you precious time and points as you struggle to plug invisible holes.
Still, this is a small issue and we found ourselves going back to Kinect Adventures after playing some of the other titles, it is just a lot of fun to play and a great experience for players of all ages. It doesn't get players as competitive or intense as the sports-themed games do but has a higher replay value and more casual feel that appeals to a wider ranger of players.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5