A lot or a little?
Parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Kinect Sports Rivals is a collection of sports-related mini-games. The content is pretty family-friendly for the most part, but there is a target shooting game in which players mimic shooting guns using their hands. Plus, a rock climbing competition encourages players to pull a competitors off a cliff (they dissolve into pixels instead of falling to the ground). Climbers can also get a painful-looking zap if they touch electrified handholds. These bits of mild violence caused the ESRB to issue a rating of "Everyone 10+."
What's it about?
KINECT SPORTS RIVALS is a collection of mini-games for Xbox One that takes advantage of the Kinect peripheral that sits just above or below the television screen and captures player movement and voice commands through its multiple cameras, sensors, and microphone. This offering features a three new sports -- jet skiing, rock climbing, and target shooting -- not found in previous Kinect Sports games. They join returning events soccer, bowling, and tennis to make a total of six sports. The game starts by using Kinect's cameras to capture your likeness and create a cartoonish onscreen avatar that looks a bit like you. When the competition begins your avatar can challenge either the game's artificial intelligence or a friend with his or her own avatar playing in the same room. While playing you'll move your arms, hands, or entire body to control your character. Some events also require players to jump. An option exists to upload your stats to an online hub to see how your performances stack up against others, but there is no direct, real-time online play. A simple story helps lead players through the basics of each event before letting them join a team for ongoing competition against computer-controlled opponents.
Is it any good?
This motion-controlled sports game is pretty meh. The variety is nice, but there are a few issues, beginning with menu screens that can be difficult to control using your hands. Creating an avatar based on your likeness seems fun to start, but the results can be somewhat random. It almost seems like the game simply matches your picture with similar features from its database (dark hair, square jaw, thick eyebrows), striving for a close fit. The sports can be fun -- especially the fast-paced and watery jet skiing, arcade-like tennis, and bowling, but it's not as fun or as accurate as a game like Wii Sports. Charging $60 for a half-dozen relatively shallow mini-games is a hard sell. Unless you're a huge fan of Kinect Sports and have some disposable income, leave this game for the bargain bins.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about whether a bit of mild violence and comic mischief is appropriate in a game like this. Are the high jinks okay if they help encourage kids to keep playing and moving (exercising) in front of the TV? Be sure to read Common Sense Media's Healthy Media Habits collection of articles.
- Platforms: Xbox One
- Subjects: Arts: movement
- Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: applying information, memorization, strategy
Health & Fitness: exercise, gross motor skills, movement
- Price: $59.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Not available online
- Developer: Microsoft Studios
- Release date: April 9, 2014
- Genre: Sports
- Topics: Sports and martial arts
- ESRB rating: E10+ for Mild Violence
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.