What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Kinect Sports is a fun collection of sports minigames, such as bowling, boxing, ping pong (table tennis), and so on, performed with real body motions via the Kinect motion control system. All the characters are very cartoon-like, so while the game received an "Everyone 10+" rating for mild cartoon violence (in boxing), it's not very realistic.
What's it about?
Using the new Kinect for Xbox 360 peripheral ($150), a high-tech accessory that lets you use your body and voice to control games -- with no need for a controller in your hands at all -- KINECT SPORTS offers a collection of six team-based and individual sports games: soccer, bowling, beach volleyball, table tennis, boxing, and track & field. Just as you would play in real life, these games have you move in front of the television to control your character -- performing such actions as as throwing a javelin, swinging a paddle, or kicking a soccer ball -- and the effect is seen onscreen. Each game has various challenges and rewards, plus there are multiple modes to choose from.
Is it any good?
As the "first full-body, controller-free sports game," Kinect Sports is certainly impressive. You'll give an opponent a one-two punch in the boxing ring, roll a bowling ball down an alley, or run in place to sprint down a track and jump over virtual hurdles. But on the flip side, Kinect Sports is a little too forgiving: in one game of beach volleyball, for instance, raising hands worked for passing, blocking, and spiking (though with the latter, it's more effective if you jump up, too). Another issue that occurs between games is the small hand that serves as your cursor: It is too small and can be lost in front of the white background. But overall, sports fans will love this technology -- it works -- and the collection of games is very fun to tackle.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about active gaming and whether or not it can be a substitute for real-life physical activities. Did you work up a sweat while playing this game? How much exercise did you get from playing it? Does it tire you out?