A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Kinectimals is a pet sim/adventure game played using the Microsoft's Kinect peripheral. You are transported to a magical island where you befriend a group of wild cat babies, including tiger, panther, and lion cubs. While caring for and playing games with them, you also explore the island looking for possible treasure hidden there by a pirate. The game does a great job of combining the pet simulation genre with a fun adventure filled with mini-games.
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What's it about?
KINECTIMALS is a pet simulation game involving a variety of wild cat babies (an African lion, a leopard, a cheetah, and others). In addition to caring for the cubs, you go on an adventure to explore a magical island once controlled by a kind pirate. As you explore, you find parts of a treasure map and unlock more of the island. You will also decorate your home with wondrous treasures you find or buy along the way.
You interact with the cubs by petting (just reach out your hands and start rubbing, and your cub will start purring), cleaning, feeding, and playing with them. The farther you get into the game, the more toys you and your cubs will collect to play with, including a volleyball, Frisbee, water gun, lures, vehicles (they sit on top while you drive), and much more. You can also use a special instrument, called a Plunderscope, which helps you and your cub find treasure hidden under the ground.
Is it any good?
Kinectimals really showcases the magic that is Kinect. By standing in front of your TV, you will see an adorable cub responding to you. It comes up to the glass and rubs against it, as if it was rubbing you. You can name it and teach it over 30 tricks by showing it what to do. If you jump, it will leap in the air and then, very cutely, fall over. Opening the Toy Box and playing with your cub is also very tactile and rewarding. If your cub brings you a ball, as you reach out, you see it magically connect to your hand. When you throw, the ball appears on the screen as if you threw it. For each toy, Kinectimals creates games for you to play.
Kinectimals is like no other game you have ever played. You open menus by simply moving your hand in the air and then holding it in one spot (think Minority Report). The bonding with your cubs feels very real, and the pace of revealing new exciting locations and games is just perfect. Plus, the game is easy play because you are accompanied by a magical flying cat, who serves as your guide. Many of the Kinect games seem similar to what you can play on the Wii, but Kinectimals is unique and makes buying the Kinect worth it.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about active gaming. This game requires that you get up off the couch and move around to play. Does that make it more fun?
This game is one of the launch titles for the new Kinect add-on system to Microsoft's XBox 360, which uses no controllers while playing. How did you feel about this new way of playing video games?
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