REVIEW – Kinect Party (XBLA/Kinect)

Let’s Get The Party Started –

Last year Double Fine released Happy Action Theater to the XBLA, a “mini-game” compilation that had players using the Kinect in fun and creative ways.  I put quotes around “mini-game” because they are not really games as opposed to activities since there really is no way to win or lose.  But jumping around and acting like an idiot has never been so much fun.  Click the link above for a deeper explanation.

Kinect Party is a direct sequel to Happy Action Theater.  In fact, if you downloaded the original, all those activities are playable through Kinect Party for a one-stop-shop similar to how Rock Band 2 songs can be imported when playing Rock Band 3.  Uniquely, Double Fine is also releasing Kinect Party as a free download for a limited time.  But once this free promotional period is over, it will cost 800 MS Points for the full download or each individual activity can be purchased for 80 MS Points.

Playing dress up is actually more fun than it sounds.

I have played many Kinect games but Kinect Party is the most fun I have had using Microsoft’s camera peripheral.

The entire attitude of this XBLA title is friendly and easy going.  In fact, there are no menus to read or options to navigate.  Once fired up, the game just immediately throws you into a random activity where players can instantly figure out what to do.   One minute you will be digging for buried treasure or next you can be making star constellations but holding random poses or destroying objects with karate chops in a kungfu dojo.  Even the Kinect microphone gets used but I won’t spoil how (hint* – it is used to unlock an Achievement).  And combined with all the activities from the original Happy Action Theater, there is plenty here to keep party guests occupied.  Each game is also unique and drips with creativity.  This game also has a grand total of 400 Achievement Points too.

Kinect Party also encourages multiplayer as six players can play at once.  But getting six players to comfortably fit in your living room (while not accidentally smacking each other during each activity) will perhaps be the biggest challenge.  My only gripe is once each activity has been played once or twice, it will lose its staying power.  However, if you own both games, there are over 40 activities to participate in so there are plenty of options.  Kinect Party also has built-in Facebook integration so you can share your wildest moments with the rest of world if you choose.

Train in the dojo.

Chances are your Kinect is probably collecting dust and will only get used via an occasional voice command or dancing sim.  But Double Fine has proven that the Kinect can be a fun and creative experience.

If you own a Kinect, you need to own this game.  Be sure to thank Double Fine for releasing this entertaining Kinect game for free!

85/100

Better Than: pretty much every other Kinect game

Try It With: friends (and alcohol)

Wait For It: DLC

By: Zachary Gasiorowski

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