No friends required
Man, woman, child or animal, we’ve all at some point put little puppies through their paces in Nintendogs, even if we choose not to share that information with anyone but ourselves. It’ll hardly be a surprise then that Kinectimals is the Kinect game to appeal to the kids, but in fact us adults will also crave some time with the little animals. I could end this review by saying it’s a great game for the kids, but truth be told I (a 29-year-old male) really enjoyed my time with Kinectimals.
It’s hard not to compare the game with Nintendogs as the concept is the same. You choose one of a bunch of cutesy hardcore animals (as opposed to puppies), including a Lion, Tiger, Panther, Cheetah or Leopard, then you give it a name. Afterwards you can explore an exotic island with your pet, teach it new tricks with body movements and play with it with a wide array of fun toys. Although you don’t have the freedom to move around the island, there are many different areas to explore with your pet. Not forgetting the strange little tour guide/ teacher, Bumble who follows you around and isn’t anywhere as annoying as you expect him to be.
The fun comes from discovering the secrets of the island and finding new toys to play with. Each toy corresponding nicely to real life body movements. You can throw a Frisbee like you would a real one, or kick a football. There are even mini games which revolve around hitting targets. You can even drive an radio controlled car or detect hidden treasure via a magnifying glass and then do digging motions to find the buried treasure. Of course, many people will find plenty of fun getting their pet to mimic movements, like rolling over or spinning in a circle. All of which are very responsive, utilising Kinect nicely and helping to make the virtual pet seem very real.
It’s not only about the games and exploration though, as you’ll need to show your pet some love. You’ll need to clean him when he gets dirty, and even dress them. Luckily as you play you’ll earn points which can be used in the in-game shop to buy new items and toys to extend the fun. Sadly though it fun that is very limited, as when you’ve seen all there is to see you’ll perhaps lose interest in your pet. Naturally the younger audience may find it appealing for much longer, then there’s the option to start over with a new pet.
So whether you’re a child or an adult, there’s plenty of fun to be had with Kinectimals while it lasts. It’s one of the few Kinect games at this stage of its life that is meant for one player, so friends aren’t required. It’s also the best show case for what Kinect can do. Not forgetting the hours of fun gameplay and the lush visuals. Kinectimals is solid fun for all ages.