Xbox 360’s newly released Kinect motion peripheral is a controller free interface that uses a webcam style device to detect users gestures or spoken commands to interact with games. The Kinect is in competition with similar systems now being championed by the Wii and PS3. Kinectimals is one of the launch titles released in conjunction with Kinect.
Kinectimals is ostensibly aimed at a young audience, with the outline of the game being the ability to interact with virtual animals in the same way that one might with pets. The gameplay involves helping the animals around obstacles and the open world of the free play mode. Kinectimals is already being lauded as the cutest game ever and after a only a short time exploring its green and sunny world you’ll find it hard to disagree. The cubs a superbly animated, adorably fluffy with adventurous character traits that soon begin to emerge. The cubs behave like cats purring and brushing up against the screen, and like dogs at others, playing fetch and tumbling around chasing birds. The cubs’ involuntary sneezes are impossible not to be delighted by.
Yet beyond all the cuteness there is real substance to this title, with many addictive minigames included, such as racing games, bowling, even football! The game combines a great range of different styles of gameplay, it’s like you’ve bought several games in one. As such, of the launch titles for the Kinect, this game may well offer the best value for money, as elements of the gameplay of nearly every other title available feature in Kinectinmals. The main aim is to explore the island with your cub discovering new ares to be unlocked, playing the mini-games and meeting new animals along the way. Completing mini challenges raises the level of an experience bar, which indicates how close you are to unlocking the new areas of the game.
Unlike other pet-based games such as Nintendogs, or even Tamogotchi’s going back a few years, there is no need to feed or look after your cub, it won’t keel over and die if you don’t play it for a few days, so you don’t have to force yourself to play it in order to progress. The limitations of the game come from the repetitive nature of some of the minigames. A lot of them involve throwing an object at a target, and indeed the accuracy of this action in the game does seems to be quite variable which can prove frustrating. The game won’t keep you glued to your screen until you’ve completed every last task there is to do, but you will find it hard not to return for a cuteness fix.