|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.
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.
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.
CCC Freelance Writer