Video Game of the Week – Kinect Rush: A Disney-Pixar Adventure
When the Kinect motion sensor system for the Xbox 360 first came out in the Fall of 2010, it was immediately apparent that it had huge appeal for young children, particularly in games where kids could get involved and interact with the characters on the screen. So it was somewhat surprising that after the early release of Kinectimals, there weren’t more Kinect games specifically targeting pre-tweeners and even younger kids.
Towards the end of last year, Microsoft and other game developers started to address this gap in the Kinect catalog with a series of new releases, including Sesame Street: Once Upon a Monster, Kung Fu Panda 2, and the excellent Disneyland Adventures. Now that trend continues with the release of Kinect Rush: A Disney-Pixar Adventure.
Kinect Rush borrows from Disneyland Adventures by setting up a theme park – this time the Pixar Park – with different locations based on five Pixar blockbuster movies: Ratatouille, Toy Story, Up, Cars and The Incredibles. While some of these movie titles have made previous appearances as console video games, this is the first time the characters and story lines have been given the Kinect treatment and it works to great effect.
Younger kids – and parents too – will be captivated by the possibility of being immersed into the enchanting worlds of Remy, Woody, Lightning McQueen, Elastigirl and the rest of the Pixar gang. Not only to join in the action through the usual Kinect hand movements and other gestures, but through a new feature called Kinect Scan, which actually scans your body and puts you into the game itself as a separate character. What’s really great about this is that your character changes as you move around the various locations. You get to see yourself as a rat, a toy, a car, and even an Incredibles-style superhero.
And there is plenty in Kinect Rush to keep your kids coming back for more. Each location has several different adventures or levels, and scoring well in any given adventure will unlock even more challenges. Most of the tasks are well within the capabilities of even the youngest child. The steering, throwing, skiing or swimming hand gestures are intuitive, and there is enough leeway built into the game that a few wrong moves won’t make too much of a difference. Just make sure you clear enough space in front of the screen, particularly when you’re in two-player mode!
As befitting a game based on the Pixar movies, the graphics are gorgeous and the lead characters all have their own gestures and idiosyncrasies that you will remember from the movies. The storylines are less faithful to the movies, a forgivable transgression given that the creators are allowing you to join in the fun and steer the story in your own direction.
All in all, Kinect Rush is another big step forward in the remarkable development of the Kinect gaming system, and one that will put a big smile on the faces of kids and parents alike!
Kinect Rush: A Disney-Pixar Adventure is rated “E” for Everyone by the ESRB. Check out the ESRB video game ratings and content descriptors at ESRB.org
Platform: Kinect for the Xbox 360
Release Date: March 20, 2012
ESRB Rating: “E” for Everyone