Just in time for the holidays, Double Fine brings Kinect Party to your living room, providing fun for the whole family, that guarantees to get your blood pumping across 36 different minigames – 18 of which are recycled from the previous game; Happy Action Theater.
Similar to Happy Action Theater, your living room will be virtually transformed into various interactive environments; allowing anyone to join in on the fun – even your dog! One minute you may be a green fire-breathing dragon destroying a medieval castle and a few minutes later you are dodging lightning strikes from an intense thunderstorm. Get hit and you will be transformed into a comical themed skeleton.
With no complicated menu system, as soon as the game loads, you will be placed into the action without worrying about a thing. Every few minutes the game will “flip channels” and drop you into a new minigame. You may find yourself taking a virtual bubble bath, flying around an enchanted forest with fairy wings or digging for buried treasure in a pirate outfit and talking parrot. Most of the minigames liven up the experience by using costumes and props.
Depending on the amount of space you have available, you may be fighting – literally – with your friends and family to appear on-screen. While vying for the 6-player achievement, I came to realize that the current layout of my living room furniture makes it impossible for the game to recognize six different people at once. The sweet spot seems to be between three and four players, but even then, you will need to take precautions as everyone playing will be flailing their limbs around with reckless abandon.
It is clear that Kinect Party was designed with a younger audience in mind, which would enjoy waving their arms around to manipulate colors or pop an unlimited supply of falling balloons. The simplified, easy to access minigames let everyone feel like they are part of the experience with no way to fail or lose to discourage them. Some minigames provide a higher level or interaction, for those that are slightly older than target audience. The reverse Tempest style, in which you will be shooting anything from burgers and toilets turned out to be my favorite out of all of them.
Sharing is saving, and if you have a Facebook account that you are willing to connect with Kinect Party, you can share photos with your friends. At any point during a minigame, you can take a snapshot of the action and either upload it straight to Facebook or use the photo editor to make minor adjustments before uploading it.
The minigames in Kinect Party are quick and fun when around those who are willing to participate in them. Playing by myself isn’t even close as enjoyable as it was playing with others. Allowing anyone to get a taste of the party, Kinect Party released free only through December 31, 2012 and afterwards includes five free minigames, but for only $10 you can experience all 36 minigames. When you figure that the cost of a movie for a single ticket is just as expensive, Kinect Party is a cheap alternative to keep kids entertained for a couple hours. Just don’t expect the same excitement and enjoyment when playing through the minigames multiple times.
Note: The Kinect Party review was written based on the Xbox 360 version of the game.