Now the excitement of the Kinect launch is fading (and we gear up for the 3DS‘s arrival) you’d be forgiven for wondering what all the fuss was about. After a bit of research though I’m pleased to report that there are plenty of Kinect games coming up that families can be excited about.
Read on for the ones that my family are most looking forward to.
Kung Fu Panda 2 will let you show off your kung fu moves with Kinect and promises more than the everyday movie tie-in. It follows on from the events of the movie, which will be out in theaters on May 26th. Po and the Furious Five will face off against new enemies in the quest to save kung fu forever.
Details have not been released on how motion control will be implemented, but developer THQ are hoping to utilize Kinect to better immerse you in Po’s character through full-body movement. So, you can expect a chance to perfect your panda kung fu moves.
Kung Fu Panda 2 will available on Xbox 360 in May. No official announcement has yet been made about releases on other platforms.
Carnival Games: Monkey See, Monkey Do ($49.99 Amazon) for Kinect extends controller-free family mini-games on the Xbox 360. It will feature 20 activities, including 10 old favorites (such as “Alley Ball” and “The Wheel of Chance”) and 10 new games exclusive to Kinect. Additional downloadable content is also planned after launch.
The titular “Monkey See, Monkey Do” mini-game involves dancing with a chimp on screen and trying to match his poses. Other Kinect games include moving your arms to steer a rocket past obstacles, and a “Hole in the Wall” style game where you need to contort your body into a position where you can pass through a configuration of blocks.
Carnival Games: Monkey See, Monkey Do is a Kinect-exclusive, coming to Xbox 360 on April 12th.
It follows Tetsuya Mizuguchi’s seminal rhythm action experiences Rez and Lumines. In similar form, Child of Eden is an on-rails shooter which is said to be part of a study of Synaesthesia, a condition that blends touch, vision and sound into a single experience.
Published by Ubisoft, Child of Eden is set for release June 14th for both PS3 (Move) and 360 (Kinect).
Sesame Street 360 Kinect ($49.99 Amazon) may sound like a franchise-led game, but in fact promises to be another nugget of imaginative genius from Double Fine. The combination of their theatrical storytelling with Kinect-led gameplay is just as significant as the Sesame Street branding.
Double Fine had publishing woes with Brutal Legend, so their response was to kick back and let creativity rule in their Amnesia Fortnight. Costume Quest and Stacking were the first two games to emerge from this unusual approach to game development. The third is just as unusual and maybe even more exciting: Sesame Street: Once upon a Monster for Xbox Kinect.
The game grew out of project lead Nathan Martz’s love of puppetry (Muppetry to be more specific) and a playful idea for a game with monsters he had brewing for some time. Even before being matched with Henson’s characters, the game focused on creating an uplifting musical experience with cute, furry monsters.
Sesame Street: Once upon a Monster will be available in the autumn on Xbox Kinect.
Michael Jackson The Experience ($46.99 Amazon) aims to pioneer more casual dancing on Kinect. There are camera controlled dance games already, but none that really work for groups of casual dancers, and none with the king of pop.
Following up Michael Jackson The Experience Wii is a brand new version for Kinect. It brings the same Michael Jackson song catalogue and the Just Dance approach to dancing to the 360 while upping accuracy with Kinect’s full body control.
Michael Jackson The Experience is released for Xbox 360 Kinect on 12th April.
The Gunstringer is an upcoming XBLA Wild West revenge story featuring a Kinect-controlled undead sheriff marionette. One of the more unique offerings announced so far for Kinect, The Gunstringer is a fully controller-free game to test your puppeteering and quick draw shooting skills. The puppet cast will act out a tale of revenge, action and romance on a theater-style stage.
The unnamed sheriff rises from the grave to get revenge on his posse, chasing down his betrayers one by one.
Gameplay will involve a mix of on-rails shooting (light gun style) and platforming sections. Your left arm controls the puppet strings, such as raising your arm quickly to jump. Shooting is controlled with your right hand, passing the cursor over enemies to target them followed by a firing gesture to shoot — just like a childhood game of cops and robbers.
The Gunstringer is scheduled for release on XBLA in fourth quarter 2011.
Kinectimals DLC ($19.99 Amazon) comes as a fluffy physical toy cat. It’s a clever way to connect gameplay and the real world. Kids can have their own Kinectimals cat to sleep on their bed, but they can also scan in their collar by holding it up to the camera via the QR code to see them in the game as well. Kinectimals DLC is available now.
With so much to choose from, perhaps it’s a good idea to hold some money back from your 3DS pre-order for these great Kinect titles.