Kinectimals Review
Kinectimals box art
System: X360 (Kinect) Review Rating Legend
Dev: Frontier Developments 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: Microsoft 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: Nov. 4, 2010 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Everyone 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

Sometimes, though, it can be a bit confusing which animal these animals are. They act like dogs more than they act like cats. I have two cats, and let me tell you, cats do not play fetch. And yet a large number of the games revolve around that mechanic. Cats also don't help you dig up things, but that's a mechanic too. Kinectimals occasionally seems to wish the game was about dogs rather than felines.

Kinectimals screenshot

The soundtrack is generally very good. It mostly consists of ambient tracks. They function well as background music and are never distracting. They simply add a sense of wonder to the entire experience, making it feel almost magical.

Aiding in that mystical sensation is the ridiculous, often obnoxious, narrator. He tries his best to be cute, but it fails. With no exaggeration, this "thing" looks like a weasel cross-bred with a fairy. Horrifying. What's more, he sometimes isn't even all that nice. I once heard him say to my cat, "kitty, stop that! Don't make me get the hose!" Sure, he chuckled afterward, but joking or not, that was kind-of mean!

Kinectimals represents an important niche that Microsoft needs to fill. It's clear that they're attempting to conquer the same market that the Nintendo Wii won in 2006. Their marquis games so far are mostly dancing games and workout games. But as Kinectimals captures the imaginations of their new buyers, they could very well turn this into a family-friendly product. After all, some consumers might be hesitant to buy a product bundle just as a workout machine, but if it could babysit the kids as well that could be an enticing offer.

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This game isn't going to be for everyone, but I think kids will get some enjoyment out of the experience. I don't have the ability to see this game through a child's eyes, but I think that once you add in a child's sense of wonderment and imagination this could be a compelling experience. If there were more variety in the mini-games and the controls worked just a bit better, then this would be a highly recommendable game. As it stands, this is only recommended if you have a child who really loves cute, cuddly things. An enormous love of the cute and cuddly is the only thing that will distract you long enough to not notice the repetition.

By Andrew Groen
CCC Freelance Writer

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
4.0
Graphics
The Kinectimals themselves are good-looking, and the environments are lush but non-interactive.
3.5
Control
Normally it's decent enough, but on occasion, especially when two hands are on-screen, the accuracy goes down.
3.4
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
The narrator is fairly annoying, but the ambient soundtrack is often beautiful.
3.4
Play Value
A lot of it is repetitive, but there's a decent amount of gameplay here. There are many things to do, and it will take many hours to fully explore the island.
3.4
Overall Rating - Fair
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • Get in touch with your wild side. Your journey begins when you adopt and name one of twenty playful friends, including a lion, cheetah, and Bengal tiger.
  • Create memories that last a lifetime. From the first time she recognizes her name to when she learns to fetch, your cub will grow up as your sidekick, eager to discover the island around you. She will always be ready for a scratch and a belly rub with smiles and purrs.
  • Discover, collect, and customize. Kinectimals rewards those who are curious about the island they live on. Travel far and wide to discover treasures and toys, and find and unlock new environments. You can customize your pet and decorate your home, plus use the in-game store to shop for items to nurture and care for your new best friend.


  • Screenshots / Images
    Kinectimals screenshot - click to enlarge Kinectimals screenshot - click to enlarge Kinectimals screenshot - click to enlarge Kinectimals screenshot - click to enlarge

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