Our first game review is actually courtesy of the Kinect Sensor Bundle Pack that I bought for Will. Originally I purchased this particular bundle because of his obsession with Fruit Ninja, but after setting up our sensor we ended up playing this game until we could barely move.
Kinect Adventures styles itself as a family game. The general gist is that you are a member of the ‘Adventure Team’ and that you are traveling all over the world and completing challenges to become a famous adventurer. You are rewarded for your progress in multiple ways such as badges (think of Boy Scout merit badges); living statues (adorable creatures that you can control with your body movements and make videos); and avatar items.
The entire game is made up of five different mini games, that the player must complete in either a free style mode (where you play the same mini-game indefinitely) or in adventure mode (where you complete various tasks depending on the ‘theme’ of the adventure). As each mini-game is vastly different from another, I’ll explain each one and it’s workout-style impact on the player.
On the good side though, is that this game does have you up and moving (which is a plus if you are generally sedentary), and it is reasonably fun. It doesn’t stress any particular joints or muscles, although occasionally you will find yourself having to stand with your limbs akimbo in odd ways to plug up multiple leaks at once.
Higher level adventures require more jumping, which therefore requires more physical input on behalf of the player. Leaning from side to side quickly also works your calf muscles, but not so much to be really beneficial. I wouldn’t recommend this game if you have hip or ankle problems, because of the stress that jumping will put on the lower half of your body. It is certainly more active than 20,000 Leaks, and it will get your heart rate up, but only if you put the work into it to do so.
I won’t lie, there were points while playing this particular game that I didn’t want to keep going, and on Adventures where you play multiple types of mini-games, this one shows up quite often. But it is still a lot of fun to play! In all honesty this is probably my favorite out of all the mini-games.
If I had to pick downsides for this particular game I would have to say that it would be hard on your ankles and lower back. Additional perks would be that if you really want to, you can work up a sweat with this game, you certainly can. You can increase your speed by jumping anywhere on the track to power through your course, and the course is different every time you play the game. Which I find particularly awesome
This game offers absolutely no physical benefit that I can discern, other than you will flap your arms occasionally. Other than that It probably offers about the same stress as 20,000 leaks, without the benefit of moving around a great deal.
- Playability: The game is fun, and you can grind out an hour of constant playing and movement without it feeling like a whole hour and work up a sheen of sweat if you play the game as intended (pushing yourself or the game would-of course yield better results for the player).
- Physical Stress: I don’t feel that it is the best workout a person can have (unless you play Reflex Ridge for an hour, in which case you deserve a medal). The games do get faster as you unlock higher levels. But for games such as Space Pop the speed won’t make much of a difference.
- Value: You certainly get what you pay for, Kinect Adventures sells at GameStop for $2 USD used. So even if you enjoy playing it for only a half an hour it more than pays for itself.
- Health Risks: I wouldn’t suggest this game for anyone with ankle or lower back problems, as Adventure mode will have you jumping a lot! If you have shoulder problems I might suggest staying away also, as you will be swinging your arms around quickly in order to grab points or hit dodge-balls.
While to a 24 year old this game seems relatively low impact, after playing for a few hours and going to sleep William and myself were very sore the next day. Our bums, legs, and shoulders felt more than a little stiff. We were surprised, because although we did feel as though we played enough to be relatively winded and tired, we never thought that we would be so sore.
The game paces itself really well in that you can be almost out of breath from Reflex Ridge and then play 20,000 leaks (or god forbid Space Pop), feel a little less winded and then play a round of River Rush and then be kicked into a game of Rally Ball. The randomness of Adventure mode keeps you on your toes, and doesn’t let your heart rate get too terribly low.
All in all I would have to say that Kinect Adventures is in fact a fun game, but not the best idea for a workout or calorie burning unless you are willing to put in the effort to make it a workout.