Game Party: In Motion

 
(i)

 

Failed attempt at family fun because of bad Kinect controls.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Like most Kinect games, players are required to get up and move -- and they're encouraged to play together. Some of the games are fairly passive, but others offer a decent workout.

Positive role models

The game encourages you to try your hardest. Winners get their picture taken and are shown on the leader board.

Ease of play

Precision issues haunt the title, which can be particularly problematic on some included games like darts, where control is critical. It also takes a while to figure out how to advance and move back through the screens.

Violence & scariness

A "Smack a Troll" game has players hit and stomp on cartoon-like trolls, who groan when hit.

Language
Not applicable
Consumerism
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Game Party in Motion is a collection of familiar mini-games for the Xbox 360 that uses the Kinect motion capture controller. It's a game that will get kids off the couch, but crippling control problems make it something that will frustrate users immensely. Navigating the interface is difficult, as hands must be positioned perfectly to advance to the next screen. The menus give you no indication on where your hand is, though, which could prevent some players from ever getting to the games. Once you get to them, poor motion tracking saps the fun from reliable party favorites such as skee ball, darts, and horseshoes.

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What's it about?

GAME PARTY IN MOTION is a Kinect game that lets players use their body movements to control a variety of arcade-style mini-games, including shuffleboard, darts, hoop shoot, and root beer tapper. Players can compete in tournaments or head-to-head matches, but the game features no online interaction with others. There's no thematic consistency -- and all of the games are unlocked the minute the player puts the disc in the console.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Family fun titles are the heart and soul of Kinect's early lineup. Game Party in Motion, on the surface, seems to have the right elements to fit in with this, gathering some arcade and boardwalk favorites -- but once you start playing, you'll realize exactly how lousy it is. It has some of the worst controls of any Kinect title, making it impossible to fully enjoy the games. And rather than consistently relying on people's natural movements (such as with billiards, where virtually everyone knows how to mimic a shot), it requires an elaborate series of motions that don't make sense. The menus give you no sense of where your hand is on the screen, which can make it hard to navigate. This is one Kinect title you'll want to avoid.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about playing games that are active versus passive. Did you feel like you got a workout while playing? Is physically taking part in the game more fun that sitting on the couch pressing buttons?

  • Is this game harder or easier than other games you've played, say, for the Wii?

Game details

Platforms:Xbox 360
Price:$39.99
Available online?Not available online
Developer:Warner Bros. Games
Release date:November 18, 2010
Genre:Party
ESRB rating:E for Comic Mischief (Xbox 360)

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Quality

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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