Kinect Star Wars

Game review by
Chad Sapieha, Common Sense Media
Kinect Star Wars Game Poster Image
For sci-fi fans it's fun and physical but inconsistent.

Parents say

age 18+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 3 reviews

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn healthy body movements and get exercise in this motion-controlled action game. They'll swing their arms to slash with their virtual lightsaber, jump in place to leap behind enemies, gallop like an ape to make their Rancor monster run, and even engage in a little modern dancing, all of which results in a good cardiovascular workout. They'll also need to develop strategies to defeat their enemies, use logic to overcome obstacles, and can meet challenges with friends. Kids will be highly physical using The Force, but Kinect Star Wars doesn’t teach about fitness.

Positive Messages

This game glamorizes sci-fi combat. However, the fighting is clearly fantastical and not easily confused with real-world violence. It also encourages a positive social gaming experience for pairs of players, as well as healthy cardiovascular activity. Kids will be left sweaty and breathing heavily after just 15 or 20 minutes of play.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The game’s Jedi are as noble as their movie-based brethren, fighting only to defend others and save the galaxy. Watto, a primary character in the pod racing mode, is less honorable. He forces his slave servant (the player’s character) into a dangerous job simply out of greed. Players do some very bad things while playing as a rancor monster, including killing civilians and guards.  

Ease of Play

Multiple difficulty settings are available for each mode, allowing players of different skills to set an appropriate level of challenge. The motion controls are fairly intuitive, but there are many new movements to learn in each mode; it takes a while to master them all. Some frustration may set in should kids find that the Kinect camera is failing to properly interpret their movements.


Violence plays a role in all but one of the game's five play modes. Kids can take on the role of a large Rancor monster and wreak havoc in populated areas. They'll stomp on, throw, and even eat the hapless civilians running around on the ground below them. As a Jedi, they will wield a lightsaber and slash at enemies, leaving glowing burn marks on their foes' bodies with each strike. Kids can also grab enemies with the Force and throw them across the arena. As pod racers they will smash into enemy vehicles in an attempt to force them off the track. They can also summon defensive drones that will hover and protect their vehicle with laser fire. Enemies sometimes call out in pain when attacked, but there is no blood or gore, and defeated foes simply disappear.


Players will see several suggestively clad women and female aliens in the dancing game. Princess Leia wears her famous golden bikini while demonstrating moves.  


Light, infrequent profanity can be heard in the Jedi mode. Swears include "hell" and "damn."


This game is part of the sprawling Star Wars franchise. It references events, characters, and scenes from all six movies.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Kinect Star Wars is an Xbox 360 game that requires Microsoft's motion- and sound-sensing Kinect peripheral, sold separately. Its five modes have players fighting with a lightsaber, destroying cities as a monster, racing pods, and dancing. Violence is frequent but fantastical. The constant combat combines with suggestively dressed females and some mild profanity to make this game potentially unsuitable for some younger Star Wars fans. Parents should also note that this is a very active game, and that even short sessions will leave players sweaty and breathing heavily.  

User Reviews

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Teen, 13 years old Written byspace banana March 5, 2015

kinect star wars review

Kinect star wars is a really good game. you go around driving pod racers, be a giant storm trooper crushing monster, and use the force as a Jedi.

But the one g... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byBionic Reviewer May 14, 2013

Motion-tracked Star Wars minigames

Star Wars Kinect is a decent game. It would be a lot better if the Kinect did a better job of motion tracking, but as it is, lightsaber combat is clumsy at best... Continue reading

What's it about?

There’s no shortage of things to do in Kinect Star Wars, the most high-profile game yet to launch for the Xbox 360’s Kinect platform. Kids hop between five different modes, including a story-driven campaign that puts the player in the role of an apprentice Jedi hacking and slashing through events that took place in the background of Episodes I through III; a dueling challenge in which players engage in lengthy lightsaber battles against single opponents; the chaotic Rancor Rampage mode, which has players become a monster running amok in populated areas, causing as much damage as possible; a pod racing career that sees kids speeding through tracks across the galaxy; and even a dancing mode that allows players to engage in dance-offs with the likes of Lando Calrissean and Princess Leia. Most of the activities are very physical and will leave kids panting. Some, including the Jedi adventure mode, allow two players to play simultaneously.

Is it any good?

The story mode is interesting and entertaining, but fraught with control problems that make it difficult to navigate and carry out precise attacks. It's OK to work through on the fairly forgiving easy mode, but higher difficulties quickly become aggravating. Ditto for dueling mode, though it does provide some good combat practice that will help players when they return to the story. The dancing game is simplistic but surprisingly fun, if only for its humor (seeing Lobot take on DJ duties is a treat). Rancor Rampage delivers plenty of spectacle, but subtle actions -- turns and small steps forward -- prove difficult. Pod Racing has the most precise controls of the bunch, but it's too easy to swerve out of control when you stop steering for a second to repair your ship or attack an enemy.

The end result is a little like a great big stew with some ingredients you like and some you don't. Players can consume the activities they enjoy and ignore those for which they haven't a taste and still come away more or less satisfied. And it's likely that young Star Wars fans' love of the franchise will blind them to many of the control issues. If your household is enchanted by that galaxy far, far away, it's a pretty safe bet.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about active gaming. How do you think this game measures up with more traditional physical activities, such as jogging, tennis, or soccer? Do you feel as though you’re getting a good workout while playing?

  • Families can also discuss playing games in groups. Do you ever run into conflicts with other players? How do you resolve them?

Game details

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Themes & Topics

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