Kinect Rush: A Disney-Pixar Adventure

Game review by
Jinny Gudmundsen, Common Sense Media
Kinect Rush: A Disney-Pixar Adventure Game Poster Image
Highly physical game can be both fun and frustrating.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Educational Value

Kids can learn about healthy body movement in this physically demanding, motion-controlled action game. Players run in place, jump, and make other movements that are mimicked by their avatars in the game, resulting in cardiovascular exercise. The game adjusts on the fly if kids are having trouble with a particular task. Kids can also use some logic to solve simple puzzles. Kinect Rush is full of physical activity -- but doesn't actively teach kids about fitness.

Positive Messages

This game encourages fun and healthy physical activity (longer sessions are likely to leave kids sweaty and winded). Its multiplayer mode encourages social gaming, though the play is usually more parallel in nature than cooperative.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The player's avatar, which can be male or female and is customizable, changes from one game to the next, but their objectives -- stopping evil robots, helping a friend trapped in a jar -- are always noble. Or, at the very least, harmless. 

Ease of Play

Players have unlimited lives, which means kids can't lose. Onscreen instructions are provided for all activities. The game intuits when players may be having trouble and provides additional graphical instruction as necessary throughout each activity. The movements required are fairly basic -- pump your arms to run, tilt your shoulders to turn, jump in the air to jump in the game -- but young testers often grew frustrated by imprecise controls, floaty navigation, and the Kinect sensor's occasional failure to properly interpret players' movements.

Violence & Scariness

Some scenarios depict mild violence, but no characters are ever seriously injured. One involves missiles fired by a helicopter that destroy elements of the environment, another has a bad robot shooting lasers at the player's avatar, and another shows a man trying to whack a rat with a towel.  

Language
Consumerism

This game is based on several of Disney-Pixar's most popular films, and will likely inspire kids to watch or re-watch these movies.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Kinect Rush: A Disney-Pixar Adventure is a motion-controlled game designed explicitly for Microsoft's Kinect sensor, and that it demands a high level of physical activity. Play requires an open space for kids to make running, jumping, and throwing motions. While the movements are simple and the game is designed such that players cannot fail, kids may nonetheless experience some frustration due to an imprecise interface, which can make something as simple as turning your avatar surprisingly tricky. There is some cartoon violence, but it is mild; no characters die or become seriously or graphically injured. Parents should note that this game encourages social gaming for pairs of players, though the style of play is more parallel than cooperative or competitive.

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What's it about?

Following in the footsteps of several other Disney-themed games for Microsoft’s popular motion- and sound-sensing peripheral, Kinect Rush: A Disney-Pixar Adventure thrusts players into a theme park where they can explore a group of activities associated with five different Disney-Pixar films. Kids will have the chance to race cars through the familiar scenery of Cars 2, run across the roofs of Ratatouille, and take on the evil, tentacled robot from The Incredibles. They’ll also explore locations from Toy Story 3 and go on adventures inspired by the film Up.

Activities are based largely on forward progression, with players running to move ahead and leaning to steer. Mild puzzle elements -- find this object to power up or break that one -- provide brief breaks to let players catch their breath. Kids can get scanned into the game to create personalized avatars, and a multiplayer mode allows pairs of players to tackle each of the game’s activities in tandem.

Is it any good?

Kids can have a terrific time with Kinect Rush, but imprecise controls for running and turning can create some frustrating moments where kids may have trouble making their onscreen avatar do exactly what they want. Turning around can be particularly tricky. Still, the pleasure kids can experience by jumping into familiar environments filled with recognizable personalities is a real plus. And the ability for a parent, friend, or sibling to jump in and join in the fun, makes the games a blast in multiplayer.

The entire game (minus the extras) is rather short, clocking in at just about three hours. Score-based medals and unlockable features offer some replay value, but the core experience isn’t particularly long. And while multiplayer makes the game more social, the activities are designed such that players play mostly in parallel, with few opportunities for true cooperation. It's polished, nice to look at, and fun (especially for younger kids), but there’s also plenty of room for improvement.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about getting physical while playing games. How did you feel after playing this game? Do you think of playing games as exercising? 

  • Families can also discuss the benefits of playing competitively, cooperatively, and in parallel with others. Which do you prefer most? Would you rather just play games alone?

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