- Children’s games are rubbish.
- Kinect games are rubbish.
And considering that around 70% of the Kinect’s catalogue is aimed squarely at the clueless kid/bored middle-aged lady market, things don’t bode too well for Kinect Rush: A Disney Pixar Adventure.
What it does have on its side however, is – as the title suggests – the backing of two of the most well-respected, quality-controlled movie studios on the planet.
As a result, Kinect Rush is a surprisingly solid and thoroughly playable romp that lives up to the franchises involved.
Pixar may have one of the most esteemed, revered movie libraries in the world, but their gaming pedigree has been what you’d politely call ‘a mistake’. With Kinect Rush also comes a liberating lack of movie tie-in constrictions, and so Pixar have brought together five of their strongest titles – Up, The Incredibles, Cars, Toy Story and Ratatouille – for a host of varied mini-games that , like all their best movies, kids and adults alike are sure to enjoy.
After a brief scanning that actually uses the Kinect’s image-recognition software to good use (it’ll take in whatever colour clothes you’re wearing and apply them directly to your character’s many incarnations), you’re introduced to a hub world that allows you to step into the five movie worlds.
What immediately impresses is the look and feel of each respective universe – all the original actors’ voices have been used where possible (with some uncanny stand-ins, including Tom Hanks’ brother for Woody), and the stylings of each very different world is immediately recognisable and relatable.
More importantly though, Asobo Studio have cleverly focused on making the game anti-competitive. Kids of all ages will be able to get through every mission, but Asobo have included a clock counting up as opposed to down to remove any arm-flailing panic. What that also means is that adults will always have a personal best to compete against should they want to, ensuring there’s a little more longevity and reward should you crave it.
But what about the games themselves? Well, Cars’ games are similar to previous Kinect kart-racer Joyride, although with the added charming bonus of being planted into the Cars world. You steer an imaginary steering wheel, hop up and down and lean on one side to go up on two wheels. It’s fast, furious fun.
Ratatouille is a platforming affair, offering a surprising array of controls and some solid co-op work as you navigate your ratty avatar to success. Meanwhile Up, Toy Story and The Incredibles all offer similarly fleshed out, fun-filled adventure/platforming romps, and while the controls are sporadically wonky, the sheer charm infused into each and every movie world is more than enough to help you get past the annoyances.
As with all Kinect games, the controls are occasionally frustrating, and once you’ve conquered your favourite five or six mini-games, there’s not a huge amount to go back for, but as a genuinely all-ages adventure game and a Pixar movie love-in to boot, Kinect Rush is one of the most grin-inducing Kinect games we’ve played yet.
Kinect Rush: A Disney Pixar Adventure is out now and available on Xbox 360 Kinect.