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Wreckateer review

What do you get if you cross Angry Birds with Kinect? Well nothing really, because Angry Birds hasn’t been released on Xbox 360 yet; however if you are desperate for a similar experience to Rovio’s mega hit, then you may want to check out Xbox LIVE Summer of Arcade title, Wreckateer.

Wreckateer is a simple game that is similar to Angry Birds; the idea is to knock down towers and leave them in a pile of rubble on the floor. The only difference here is that the game is in 3D, pigs are replaced with Goblins and instead smearing the screen with your fingers, you’re using Kinect to control a ballista.

So what’s the point of the game then? Well it’s quite simple really. Working as a trainee Wreckateer, it’s your job to wipe out the strongholds of the invading goblins. As you wreck strongholds you’ll gain a score, with the aim being to meet the target and gain either a bronze, silver or gold medal. Once you unlock a medal you can move on to the next territory and take down some more goblins.

Thankfully the Kinect decides to behave itself in Wreckateer, generally responding to your gestures and not going off on some funny tangent. Though the controls are not that simple and therefore not for kids,  the instructions are clear and everything seems to work as it should. Controlling the ballista requires you to step forward, drag back the shot with your hands and then opening your arms to fire. Dragging your arms up or down will determine how high or low your shot is, while side-stepping left or right will aim your shot in these directions.  Certain shots can also use an after-touch, allowing you to swipe the cannonball up, down, left or right. It’s all a far step from the simple pick up and play nature or Angry Birds, although it’s still fun enough.

As you get further into the game, you’ll unlock even more shots, ranging from the basic cannonball to a gliding flying shot, a heavyweight lift shot, an exploding bomb shot, a speed shot  and the (Angry Birds familiar) split shot, which splits into four smaller shots, all of which can be guided by hand. In addition, there are Icons which give you a boost if hit plus you can also aim your shots at bundles of dynamite which are attached to certain walls and towers; hitting these targets will set of a chain reaction, giving you a great score.

Overall it’s all about hitting the weak points of the castle and crumbling them to the ground in the minimum amount of shots. This is the best way to get the gold medal and move on to the next level. It’s not always easy, but it’s very satisfying when you pull it off.

Graphics aren’t incredibly impressive but they are certainly decent enough, especially for a downloadable title. It’s also a pretty big game, with over 60 castles to get through, all of which have their own unique design. The voice acting is a little on the cheesy side, but it’s hard to argue at the amount of work that has gone into this game to make sure it works and to be fair it works well.

When it comes down to it Wreckateer is a decent game, especially for a title that uses Kinect. Not everyone will want to stand and control ballistas for hours on end when the alternative is playing Angry Birds on your iPhone but if you enjoy Kinect and love waving your arms around like you just don’t care, then Wreckateer will probably appeal to you.

Rating: Good Review Policy (version tested: XBLA)

Edited On 26 Jul, 2012

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