Features: Kinect Software Buyer's Guide
Posted by James Newton
Let us guide you
If you were one of the lucky millions to receive a Kinect sensor for Christmas, you're probably wondering which games to pick up and which to avoid, which is where we come in. As we've got every Kinect game reviewed we here at Kinectaku are in the perfect position to help you navigate the motion minefield and find a title that's right for you.
Chances are you bought your Kinect so the whole family can get up and have fun, so the first bit of good news is that you don't need any extra controllers for each player: you just need your body. The back of every game box will give you more information on how many players the game supports, and our list of multiplayer Kinect games will come in handy for picking a game you can all get involved in.
Your sensor should have come with Kinect Adventures included, and although it's a decent way of showing off what Kinect can do - particularly the Living Statues mode, well worth checking out if you haven't already done so - it won't be long until you've seen everything there is to see. Beating your high scores and playing online or local multiplayer with someone else is good fun, but if you're ready to move on, try one of these recommendations below.
A compilation of six different sports - boxing, bowling, football, table tennis, beach volleyball and track and field - Kinect Sports is one of the sensor's leading lights so far. With plenty of minigames available, including free content recently released via Xbox Live, there's a stack of content to get through in single player as well as offline or online multiplayer. Sports is the sensor's finest family game, and should be at the top of your list.
One of the finest representations of dance ever committed to console, Dance Central stands out in the crowd of Kinect dancing games. Containing a range of fully licensed music, with more content to download for 240 Microsoft Points, you'll master a range of moves in a wide variety of styles with up to three other players. The motion detection is spot-on, and with a group of friends or family it's some of the best fun you'll have with your sensor.
Frontier Developments' cute feline adventure might seem like a jungle-based pet simulator, but there's more to it than teaching your cubs tricks: you can decorate your house, search for buried treasure and unlock new areas as you engage in a full adventure. It might not be for everyone, but if you're young at heart and love animals this will certainly appeal.
There are so many exercise games available for Kinect that we've put together a special Guide to Kinect Fitness Games to help guide you through the sweaty minefield.
Ones to Avoid
With 20 games already available for Kinect it's inevitable that there would be some duffers in the pack, so here are our tips for what not to buy.
Our Game Party in Motion review called this "a foul, decomposing reminder of Kinect’s darkest hour", with unplayable minigames, appalling menu navigation and broken two-player modes. Avatar support and a few passable minigames might seem enticing, but we advise you in the strongest possible terms to avoid this game like the plague.
Deca Sports Freedom (known as Sports Island Freedom in Europe)
With the great Kinect Sports out there already, you'd have to be mad to pick up Hudson's effort, which messes things up with unresponsive controls, unenjoyable sports and broken menus. Our Deca Sports Freedom review gave it a 2/10, a strong endorsement to spend a little more and get Kinect Sports instead.
A full-body combat title should be a big winner, but Ubisoft's effort is very poor indeed. The all-important motion recognition and hit detection is badly implemented, leaving you flailing around desperately trying to smack your opponent in the face. Our Fighters Uncaged review scored it a 3/10, saying "Fighters Uncaged is riddled with detection issues and repetition, making for a very poor Kinect launch game"; stay away.
These games are already available, but what's on the horizon for Kinect? Our look at Five Kinect Games to Move You in 2011 contains just some of the titles on the way to the sensor in the next twelve months, and you can be assured that Kinectaku will continue to cover news and reviews on every single Kinect game. We also have a full list of upcoming Kinect games and lively Kinect forums for you to keep up to date on everything Kinect, right here at Kinectaku.