Latest Reviews

  • 3

    Xbox 360

    Review Blackwater

    Misfire

    Kinect's had a few quirky shooters so far — step forward The Gunstringer and Child of Eden — but nothing so conventional as Blackwater. Dubbed a "first person experience" by its publisher, it's the first war game we've seen on Kinect, and carries with it all the pleasures and pitfalls you'd expect from that mantle. Blackwater isn't...

  • 1

    Xbox 360

    Review Kinect Disneyland Adventures

    Taking the Mickey?

    Parents, take your child or children aside and ask them what the happiest place on Earth is. If the answer isn’t a resounding and enthusiastic “Disneyland” then you’re not doing your job properly. Those Disney DVDs are chocked full with adverts for their vast wonderland getaways aimed directly at an audience that’s...

  • 0

    Xbox 360

    Review Family Game Night 4: The Game Show

    Wrong answer

    After four instalments of EA's Family Game Night series you'd expect the company to have the format pretty down-pat by now, but regrettably Family Game Night 4: The Game Show is totally off the mark. Based on the Family Game Night TV show, the game is split into five activities, each based on a Hasbro board game: Connect 4 Basketball,...

  • 12

    Xbox 360

    Review Cabela's Big Game Hunter: Hunting Party

    Aim for something else

    The appeal with Kinect was always supposed to be that you didn't need a controller to play. With the "You Are the Controller" mantra so engrained in Kinect's marketing, it's a bit of a surprise to see a Kinect game ship in a large box with a hefty peripheral. Cabela's Big Game Hunter: Hunting Party certainly does...

  • 2

    Xbox 360

    Review Grease Dance

    It’s got groove, it’s got meaning

    If you’re a die-hard Grease fan who’s daydreamed about roaming the halls of Rydell high with the T-Birds and the Pink Ladies, then Grease Dance is an absolute must-purchase for you. For everyone else it’s not as sure a bet as Greased Lightning, but there’s still plenty of fun to be had. At first glance,...

  • 5

    Xbox 360

    Review Kinect Fun Labs: Musical Feet

    Can you stamp the high note?

    Keeping in mind that Kinect is supposed to be a piece of equipment which the entire family can enjoy, Kinect Fun Labs: Musical Feet initially appears to be a lot of fun; recording and playing a virtual keyboard in your own living room while also messing around to other sounds such as a dog barking or cow mooing. Upon...

  • 2

    Xbox 360

    Review Twister Mania

    Twist and shout

    Twister, as a traditional video game, would be destined to fail. Pressing a button to put right leg on red would just be nowhere near as fun as wiggling your limbs to screw over some poor sap struggling to make their body obey the almighty colour spinner. But Kinect’s Twister Mania is no traditional video game, eschewing buttons...

  • 3

    Xbox 360

    Review MotionSports Adrenaline

    Adrenaline junk

    Last year's MotionSports was deeply average, but then it was never going to compare favourably to Rare's Kinect Sports. Ubisoft hasn't surrendered the sporting crown easily though, returning with MotionSports Adrenaline's all-new range of extreme sports. Far from the familiar motion-gaming sports that made up most of last year's...

  • 0

    Xbox 360

    Review The Sims 3 Pets

    Ruff?

    Traditionally, The Sims hasn't transitioned to consoles particularly well: the move from mouse-clicks and keyboards to analogue sticks does nothing to streamline the controls, and seeing as The Sims is all about control that's a major problem. The Sims 3 Pets still doesn't fully conquer the issue, but it does a good job of hiding any cracks...

  • 4

    Xbox 360

    Review Hulk Hogan's Main Event

    Oh brother

    In the sweeping midst of Hulkamania, Hogan set out three demandments for Hulkamaniacs: to train, say your prayers and eat your vitamins. A fourth was added a few years later in 1990: to believe in yourself. Had Hogan had the foresight to add a fifth — “don't make terrible video games” — we all would have been spared of the tedium...

  • 12

    Xbox 360

    Review Kinect Sports: Season Two

    The best just got better

    Despite posting impressive sales figures and delivering some engaging titles, Kinect has arguably struggled to find that elusive ‘killer app’ that is capable of convincing both casual and hardcore gamers of its worth. While the original Kinect Sports was a fantastic grounding in Microsoft’s brave controller-free world,...

  • 0

    Xbox 360

    Review The Adventures Of Tintin: The Secret Of The Unicorn

    Bored quiff?

    You know the drill by now: The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn is a film tie-in. It also uses Kinect. It can't be any good, right? Well, the drill has changed slightly this time around. Unlike THQ's efforts such as Kung Fu Panda 2, Tintin is a standard controller-led platformer, with Kinect's functions tucked away in the...

  • 0

    Xbox 360

    Review Minute to Win It

    Bored in 60 seconds

    Another day, another Kinect mini-game collection themed around a reasonably popular TV game show. This time out it's NBC's Minute to Win It, in which Food Network chef Guy Fieri takes a break from introducing the nation to diners, drive-ins and dives across the country to give contestants a chance at the big bucks through...

  • 3

    Xbox 360

    Review Michael Phelps - Push the Limit

    Naked men

    When it comes to the world of swimming, there's no bigger name than Michael Phelps, but even his mighty reputation isn't enough to secure Michael Phelps: Push the Limit a gold medal. Any game that starts with a warning that it's physically draining even by Kinect standards should set alarm bells ringing, but Michael Phelps smartly rations...

  • 3

    Xbox 360

    Review Dance Central 2

    Step out of the ordinary

    If history has taught us anything it’s that dancing games will eventually go the way of the Guitar Heroes and the Rock Bands before them – although we anticipate the grave will be filled with less plastic instruments. Like any trend, what goes up must eventually come tumbling down but if Harmonix’s dance-em-up sequel...

  • 0

    Xbox 360

    Review Nicktoons MLB

    Not quite a home run

    With the real MLB season coming to a close, the sport is rapidly approaching its Toy Story moment: when no one is around to see, what happens to all the players? They're recruited by Nickelodeon, apparently, for a simplistic and, despite its best efforts, charming take on America's pastime. Nicktoons MLB falls under the same...

  • 6

    Xbox 360

    Review Sesame Street: Once Upon a Monster

    "C" is for "charming"

    It’s every child’s dream to be able to play with their favourite TV characters. To them, they’re not pretend; they’re just as much a part of their reality as anything else. The talented folks at Double Fine have teamed up with Sesame Workshop to give kids the chance to play with their favourite Sesame Street monsters in...

  • 5

    Xbox 360

    Review Forza Motorsport 4

    Leader of the pack

    We've seen a handful of games call themselves "Better with Kinect" — Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I and Virtua Tennis 4 are two of the more high-profile titles, but neither managed to use the sensor for more than mildly entertaining side games. Arguably, Forza Motorsport 4 is the first game to show the...

  • 1

    Xbox 360

    Review Just Dance 3

    Hands in the air like you just don’t care

    With a whopping ten dance titles shuffling towards store shelves in time for the holidays, you’d be forgiven for writing off every single one as being just another dancing game. Whilst that’s arguably the case, the Just Dance series hasn’t earned its millions by just being another dancing game...

  • 4

    Xbox 360

    Review PowerUp Heroes

    Here to save the world?

    After last year's disastrous Fighters Uncaged we thought we'd never want to touch a Ubisoft fighting game for Kinect again, but then along came PowerUp Heroes to change our mind. It's easy to see the big difference here: whereas Uncaged was set in the dirty world of street-fighting, PowerUp transports you to a world of...

  • 1

    Xbox 360

    Review Kinect Fun Labs: Mutation Station

    Malformed

    We all imagined that Kinect Fun Labs was Microsoft's way of providing engaging, free content to Kinect fans, but with the third paid add-on it's clear the emphasis has shifted towards a microtransaction model. Does Kinect Fun Labs: Mutation Station offer enough to justify the adoption of this new sales strategy? While Kinect Sparkler...

  • 0

    Xbox 360

    Review The Penguins of Madagascar: Dr. Blowhole Returns Again!

    The legacy of Reel 2 Real lives on

    Dreamworks’ Madagascar films are notable for two things: Resurrecting Reel 2 Real’s 1994 jam I Like to Move It and spawning a zoo filled with a team of goofy penguins. Said penguins proved popular enough to get their own spin-off show on Nickelodeon, which then went on to birth TV specials, DVD collections and...

  • 2

    Xbox 360

    Review Burnout CRASH!

    A crashing disaster or a wheelie good success?

    When it was first announced, Burnout CRASH! was dismissed as a cash-in on a very popular video game series. Nothing like the titles before it, nothing to do with racing and what seemed like boringly simple controls portrayed this game as one that'd head straight to the scrapyard. But those first...

  • 4

    Xbox 360

    Review The Gunstringer

    A fistful of crazy

    You'd be hard-pressed to find a development studio with more spring in their step than Twisted Pixel or a game with such joie de vivre as The Gunstringer. Where a lesser studio may have slapped some skeletal cowboy puppets into a Kinect-enabled rail shooter and called it a day, Twisted Pixel snatches the western marionette theme...

  • 4

    Xbox 360

    Review Rise of Nightmares

    Shocking?

    Kinect has been on the market for a less than a year, and in that time has amassed no fewer than six dancing games, five fitness titles and an alarming number of minigame compilations, but where are the more mature titles for single players after a story? Rise of Nightmares may not completely fill the gap, but it'll do in a pinch. The...

  • 0

    Xbox 360

    Review Champion Jockey

    Cracking the whip

    Admit it. The concept of a horse riding simulator isn’t instantly appealing. When you consider that the medium of video gaming allows us to explore unlikely fantasies and pretend to be characters we could scarcely dream of becoming in real life, it makes you wonder who in their right mind would want to step into the grass-soiled...

  • 1

    Xbox 360

    Review Kinect Fun Labs: Air Band

    A musical joke?

    After Kinect Sparkler turned out to be rather dim, the second paid addition to Kinect Fun Labs is here in the much more pleasing form of Air Band, which lets you become a musical ensemble with just your bare hands. You and a friend can jump in to one of five musical styles — disco, rock, pop, latin and country — and mime playing...

  • 0

    Xbox 360

    Review Hole in the Wall

    Bring on the wall!

    Hole in the Wall is as simple as a game title can get; a wall with a hole in it comes hurtling towards your Avatar. As the player, you must use your body to fit through these holes and avoid being knocked into a pool of water behind you. There are two main modes of play on show; Quick Survival and Show. Quick Survival mode fires...

  • 6

    Xbox 360

    Review Fruit Ninja Kinect

    Juiced up

    In an age where smartphone advocates are gloomily predicting the End of Days for dedicated home consoles, it’s incredibly ironic that one of the best-selling iPhone and Android titles of all time (over 20 million downloads, and rising) is made even more compelling by its fusion with Microsoft’s home console-based Kinect peripheral...

  • 0

    Xbox 360

    Review Avatar Superstar

    Lacks the X factor

    It feels unfair being overly critical of an Xbox Live Indie game. For a measly 80 Microsoft Points you know you're not going to get an experience on-par with the best games out there, but we must still be truthful in our critique of Avatar Superstar. The screenshots and branding suggest that this is a karaoke experience, whereas...