“Come on kids, it’s time to play.” That’s a familiar shout for my children now and a sure fire way for them to know that Kinect’s got another new title and they are needed to help me test it out. This time the game is based on Disney Pixar’s fantastic franchises such as Toy Story and Incredibles, amongst others. It’s name is Kinect Rush.
Now we have had plenty of problems in this household before when it comes to Kinect. Half the time it won’t recognise the kids, or the little two year old will jump in front of the camera, causing it to not recognise the main player and have us spend an extra five minutes trying to correct this. Most of the time this results in the children giving up, although in the case of Kinect Rush, things are much improved.
“Come on kids, it’s time to play.”
Before we get to the main part of the game, it’s worth talking about the character creation aspect. When you load up the game you are required to have your body and your face scanned. What this does is create your very own character, therefore once it has you scanned, you’ll see your character as an Incredible, Car, Rat and member of the Up! cast. This process is actually really simple and works amazingly well. The children were able to stand still long enough for the scan to work and the results where pretty impressive.
Once you have your character, it’s time to get into the main part of the game. As mentioned, Kinect Rush sees you visiting a explorable world based on Disney Pixar adventures, such as Cars, Toy Story, Ratatouille, UP and Incredibles. When the game begins, your character will arrive at the park and you are then able to control them by swinging your arms, while turning with your shoulders; a mechanic that works for most of the adventures too. You’re able to walk to each of the five areas in the park, or if you wish, you can simply raise both arms in the air to pull up the quick menu and begin the adventure of your choice.
Although there are only five choices in terms of the worlds you will visit, each of these has plenty of depth, therefore as you unlock one story, you’ll move onto the next. With there being five worlds to get through it’ll take you a while before you see everything.
The worlds themselves are well designed and great fun to play in. Toy Story for instance will see you take control of a robot toy and be tasked with all manner of missions, all while following around your favourite characters. Here you’ll find yourself taking part in the story, as you try to help out a character known as Mr Prickelpants. As you make your way through the story you’ll find yourself jumping, picking up useful items, dodging obstacles and flying down zip lines. It all plays out pretty much like you’d expect from the movie, which is fantastic.
This trend continues for other areas of the game too, with Up!, Ratatouille and Incredibles all following a similar style of adventure. As far as the children go, Cars was probably the stand out adventure, allowing them to steer easily around the tracks using hand gestures, while racing along. The game also throws up some handy hints when the car gets stuck, meaning that the children didn’t get frustrated when things went wrong.
One of the stand out areas of Kinect Rush comes in the form of the presentation. Each of the games on offer look like their movie spin-off counterpart, with Incredibles, Toy Story and Cars all shining examples of just how good Kinect games can look if given enough time in development. It’s not just the graphics which stand out either, thanks to some stellar voice work and special effects. Kinect Rush is pretty impressive all round in this department, so I just hope that other developers take note.
Although Kinect Rush is rated 7+, my daughter who is 5, has certainly enjoyed playing the game without too much trouble. She generally had a few issues with Kinect recognising her in the earlier wave of games released for the system, but so much fun has she had with Kinect Rush that we are now seriously considering adding Kinect Disneyland Adventures to our collection as well.
It’s clear to me that the developers have spent a lot of time trying to get Kinect Rush right and in this respect they have done a fantastic job. The controls are responsive and generally trouble free and although there are still a few teething problems, when these do occur it seems fairly easy for the children to figure out their way back into the game.
At last Kinect has a title that your kids will enjoy with the minimum of fuss.
In my opinion Kinect needed a game which worked properly for the age range it’s aimed at and Kinect Rush has pretty much nailed it. The only other title so far that I could possibly say this about is Double Fine’s excellent XBLA title, Happy Action Theatre (I highly recommend that one). So to finally see a retail title which plays to Kinect strengths does make me happy, at least for my kids sake.
At last Kinect has a title that your kids will enjoy with the minimum of fuss. Not only that, but this highly polished and fun filled adventure will keep your children entertained for day’s on end, which is a pretty nice thought when you’re trying to read your newspaper on a rainy Sunday afternoon. All of a sudden Kinect doesn’t seem like such a bad purchase, because if this is the future, then things are looking up.
Rating: ExcellentReview Policy(version tested: Xbox 360)
You can order Kinect Rush from ShopTo here.