A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Child of Eden is a rhythm action game for the Xbox 360’s Kinect camera controller that has players using their hands to direct energy beams toward the screen. The high-concept narrative tasks players with defending the computer-stored memories of the titular girl, who is an icon of goodness for all humanity. The game promotes a moderate amount of physical activity, and its bright, kaleidoscopic colors and wildly upbeat music are, at their most powerful moments, likely to create feelings of euphoria in players.
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What's it about?
An on-rails shooter designed specifically for Kinect (though players can also use a standard controller), CHILD OF EDEN puts players inside a computer to save the personality of a girl that has been stored in Eden, the future version of the Internet, for hundreds of years. We dive into a world of bright geometric shapes and impossibly upbeat electronic music, using our hands to fire energy beams at flashing, morphing shapes that represent data corruption. Players work their way through five levels, striving to earn higher point totals and unlocking extra features -- such as a bonus survival mode -- along the way.
Is it any good?
It’s short, and there’s not a lot of diversity beyond its constantly shifting, wildly imaginative computer graphics, but Child of Eden is nonetheless the most compelling Kinect game available. Players have three methods of attack. The most practical is a rapid fire energy beam that can be precisely aimed with the player’s left hand. The second, a weapon that locks onto multiple targets before releasing a barrage of energy, is controlled with the player’s right hand. The third is a limited-ammunition screen-clearing attack unleashed by raising both arms together.
It’s simple, but can be wildly immersive, with no small amount of credit going to the game’s inspired shower of electronic lights and sounds, which wash over and envelop the player, and its phenomenal musical score, which is the very definition of auditory joy. At its most affecting, Child of Eden will make you completely forget your surroundings and instill a sense of pure euphoria. If you have a Kinect controller, it’s a must.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about other ways to combine music and physical activity. Does listening to powerful music help give you energy while exercising? Does it make the notion of exercise more appealing?
Families can also discuss the future of the Internet. Do you think we’ll be able to upload our memories to the Web one day to preserve our personalities? Or is this purely the stuff of science fiction?
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