Leedmees Kinect uses your body to guide its hapless tiny travelers home. While this full-body iteration of Lemmings-meets-Twister is perfectly pitched and well executed, the real excitement is the theater it creates in your living room.
Having been roundly impressed with the recently expanded Kinect line-up (Disneyland Adventures, Mass Effect 3, Kinect Sports 2 to name a few) I was surprised to find another title that I think may just be the pick of the bunch.
Leedmees is a fresh little Kinect game where you control a silhouette figure that mirrors your movements. Standing the full height of the screen you use this giant to help some diminutive beings towards their home.
To get the little guys from their blue spawn point to the red home you simple move your limbs into position to act as platforms or lifts. A very cute little touch is that if you extend your arm towards them they will even jump up for a ride.
If you don’t move just right, or aren’t careful where you are stepping you will soon lose some of the little creatures to misfortune. Whereupon a new stock of expectant rescues will pop out of the spawn portal.
The reason this works so well is that Kinect makes perfect use of your body to control the game. You soon become acutely aware of the implications of an ill-advised motion, and start to take great care. It also applies the physics of your movement to the objects in the game. This means as well as lifting and carrying the little chaps you can also juggle with them from one arm to another — here it reminded me of pinball bumper switching.
As things get more tricky there are platforms you need to punch out of the way, as well as switches to trigger or swipe, and other dastardly obstacles that spell inevitable doom for the innocent little Mees — unless you can intervene.
It wasn’t until I tried this with two players though that the game really got up a head of steam. Here you have to co-ordinate efforts with the other player, passing the little creatures from one of you to the other.
The first co-op level for instance attaches the spawn points to one of the player’s limbs. This means that both players have to hold an awkward pose to ensure the minions can safely escape (Ed.: sounds like Twister to me). It sounds simple, but soon descends into hilarious chaos, and of course if you laugh too hard your on screen character does likewise — as I found out to disastrous effect.
The execution of the levels and mechanics are spot on and look ideal for family play times. I can’t wait to try my kids out on Leedmees because this is one Kinect game all ages will be able to enjoy. Whereas Kinect Sports and the like rely on timing and precision, Leedmees is more focused on strategy and holding particular positions.
Leedmees offers over 50 single-player and 12 co-op levels and will be available via XBLA later in the summer. If there is any justice in gaming land, or the world in general, this will be one of the runaway hits of the year along with Zelda Ocarina of Time on 3DS.