I was a little skeptical of Kinect before I tried it, but I keep coming across features that make gaming a lot easier for my family. Most recently we’ve been playing Kinect Joy Ride.
Although hands free steering takes a bit of getting used to, we all enjoyed the light hearted racing fun. Like the playful hands-up indication I mention about Kinect Sports, the steering wheel controls are just as playful – I couldn’t help smiling.
On top of these you can pull your arms back to charge a boost then thrust them forward to trigger it. In the Battle mode you can also reach your arm left or right to fire various weapons you collect.
Put a child in front of Kinect Joy Ride – as we did – and tell them to just steer is pretty much all the instruction they need. The rest of the game just works. Acceleration and braking is handled for you. If you need a little more corning you can stick your bum out to drift, something our five year old found hysterical to watch.
Being able to play with their very own avatars meant that each of our kids are now setup on the 360. They took a good half an hour each choosing how they wanted to look and what to wear.
This brings me to our family’s favorite feature of Kinect Joy Ride – something that it shares with other Kinect titles. Because the Kinect camera can recognize who you are from your outline, all you need to do is stand in front of the game and it automatically picks the right avatar.
It sounds like a small thing I know, but with five of us playing games switching between profiles can be a real pain. In fact we often just all play on the same character just to simplify things. Kinect’s player identification feature has put pay to all that and we can each track our progress – as well as look like ourselves in the game. This has been so successful in cementing the connection between virtual and real worlds that our kids now spend almost half their game time each day just fiddling with their 360 avatars.
Wired: Hand free racing and player identification.
Tired: Sometimes struggles to identify the smallest family members.
Kinect Joy Ride is available from Amazon for $39.99.