Love it or hate it, Kinect has finally released and has hit British shores (and stores) with a vengeance. If you're buying into Microsoft's take on motion control, you'll almost certainly want some games to go with it. Welcome, therefore, to our (hopefully) automatically-updating buyer's guide!
Why not check out our full hardware review?
Most Kinect buyers will get Kinect Adventures bundled right along with the sensor. It's a fun and forgettable minigame collection that'll be fun for a few hours and in short doses. Going to be a must for Boxing Day!
Check out our full review!
Kinect Joy Ride
Joy Ride markets itself as the first controller-less kart racer... but you'll wish that you actually had a controller for it. It's fun, but the lack of speed control and minute inputs kill most of the fun and immersion stone dead. Shame really, because it's a lot of fun when it works- and we reckon another developer (Turn10?) will nail this concept down the line.
Awww. The kids are going to go absolutely nuts for this 0ne. You'll play, hang out and generally interact with a variety of cute cats and cubs; unlocking new props and flair with a selection of minigames. It's surprisingly capable and fun for all ages, though too shallow to hold adult interest for too long. The limited edition is bundled with a cute and cuddly toy that can be integrated into the game- perfect stocking filler material.
Kinect Sports was setting off our alarm bells every single time we played it. However, Rare have actually delivered a capable minigame collection despite accusations of lag... essentially providing a fun alternative to actually going out and playing sport. An excellent launch title, though we suspect that it will pale in comparison to subsequent Kinect games.
Dance Central is easily the best Kinect launch title. Even though I look completely ridiculous playing it, I was absolutely blown away by how immersive, exciting and physical the dance gameplay turned out to be. Following the on-screen figures and actually dancing is fantastic fun, and Harmonix don't pull any punches when it comes to the music game infrastructure. Highly reccommended- even to other ornery gaming veterans. Check out our full review!
Your Shape: Fitness Evolved
Despite not quite delivering an evolution, Your Shape: Fitness Evolved is a capable fitness experience that presents a fun way of shedding a few pounds. Cardio boxing and exercise routines are fun and engaging, but be warned that wearing baggy clothes can really throw a spanner in the works.
Check out our full review!
Sonic Free Riders
Sonic Free Riders is attracting some wildly divisive early reviews... and I personally reckon that the youngsters are going to really appreciate this one. There's an expansive story mode and some cool unlockables, but the leaning controls are frequently responsible for howling gameplay gaffes. Basically, the kids (especially Sonic fans) will find this one "cool" for a while.
Deca Sports Freedom
It's too close to call this one yet. The words "generic," "minigame" and "collection" come to mind- and I've heard some rumours that crossing arms can easily confuse the sensor in multiplayer. We'll find out November 18th.
Konami have also made a foray into the dance market. Dance Evolution (known as Dance Masters in the states, watch out when you're checking prices) pales into comparison next to Harmonix's Dance Central... so I'd put this one on the back burner for now.
The best thing I can safely say about Adrenaline Misfits is that it works. It's a functional yet completely soulless game that's far less interesting than the overly edgy characters would suggest. Note that it's sometimes referred to as Crossboard 7 when you're checking price comparisons.
The Biggest Loser: Ultimate Workout
The Biggest Loser: Ultimate Workout is another fitness title that manages to punch above its weight with some nifty features. I was surprised to see recordable video diaries, a calorie counter, healthy recipes and other clever extras make an appearance. It works much better than the branding would suggest- so it's worth considering.
I don't know jack about Zumba, but I hear it's some kind of exercise routine. Sounds perfectly ghastly to me... but if it's your bag, here's the best price for it.
Motion Sports is Ubisoft's foray into the world of controller-less minigames. And it sucks. Get Kinect Sports instead!
Game Party: In Motion
Game Party: In Motion is- as you'd expect- a party game that's designed for the whole family to enjoy. Once again it's difficult to call whether or not this will be worth picking up without actually trying it... but for now, I'd hold off for the right price and a little more coverage. The Game Party series isn't known for blockbuster classics, mind. Putting it mildly.
EA Sports Active 2
We've got to wait a little while for EA Sports Active 2, but it's certainly a strong contender for the best of the fitness games. Seeing our heart rate live on screen using the bundled monitor will be awesome... but we'll have to shell out over £60 quid for the privilege.