Kinect Adventures is the main launch game for Microsoft’s Kinect peripheral as it comes packed in with the Kinect device, much like Wii Sports for the Nintendo Wii.
The game offers five main mini-game challenges, largely geared towards showing off the device with casual, family-oriented gameplay. It requires the peripheral to play with online gameplay and local games for up to two players, head-to-head or cooperatively. Online players can be friends or random players found online.
Each game is essentially played by copying movement of the players and translating it onscreen through their Xbox 360 Avatars, through movement of the body and limbs, including crouching, jumping and movement in a 3-D space. It also incorporates voice chat features where the player can voice unlocked characters and an option allows Kinect to snap pictures of the player during gameplay (shown through an icon of a camera). These pictures are stored locally, but there is also a sharing function through the website KinectShare.com. Each game also features points earned through beating time challenges and collecting emblems, with various medals awarded depending on player performance.
There are four main adventure modes and the player needs to score at least a bronze medal in each challenge to progress. Next to the main adventure mode there is a Free Play and Timed game mode. The mini-games in Kinect Adventures are:
- The 20,000 Leaks
Players are trapped in a glass case under water. Fish, being the evil beings that they are, constantly attack the case which causes water to pour in. The player is then forced to use every available appendage to block off the incoming streams of water. Actual risk of drowning not included.
- River Rush
Here, players must move their bodies left and right and physically jump to steer and launch a raft down a river. Includes the ability to ride along clouds and alternate paths in the air through trees.
Think of it like a 3D full-body version of the classic title Breakout. Smash balls to break blocks at the end of a hallway. Except unlike Breakout, players will likely not end the session panting and sweating.
- Reflex Ridge
Players ride on a platform something like a flatbed on a minecart track. Here, they must duck, jump, lean, and generally dodge hurdles and obstacles while collecting the “A” emblems with an emphasis on split-screen competition.
- Space Pop
This game tracks movement in 3D space, not just flailing around in one spot, but moving towards and away from the television. Players must pop transparent balls (or bubbles?) as they move between holes among the room in which the player’s avatar is standing. Players can also “fly” a bit by flapping their arms, hover by extending them, and fall down by putting them vertically along the body.