What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Wreckateer is a downloadable physics-based puzzle game designed exclusively for Xbox Kinect. It makes kids put on their thinking caps to figure out how best to tear down stone castles using only a ballista and handful of ammunition. Plenty of garish goblins (they burp and fart) get destroyed as the castles tumble, but kids see no blood, gore, or bodies. The cartoonish green creatures simply fall down and disappear. Parents should note that this game demands a moderate amount of physical activity and plenty of play space.
What kids can learn
Thinking & Reasoning
- solving puzzles
- analyzing evidence
- achieving goals
Health & Fitness
Engagement, Approach, Support
Steering a wrecking ball to fly through power-ups and smash into castle spires is both satisfying and entertaining. Among the most enjoyable motion control experiences available on Xbox.
Kids will learn about the physics that govern building integrity and enjoy some light physical movement in this motion-controlled puzzle game, which involves both strategy and tactical thinking.
Tutorials provide instructions as new mechanics are introduced. Once kids get a feel for the movements required they'll likely need little if any extra help.
What's it about?
Goblin-infested castles fall brick by brick in WRECKATEER, a downloadable physics-based puzzle game available only through Xbox Live Arcade. Players assume the role of a rookie wrecker and travel to 60 different keeps overrun with green creatures. A ballista (think giant crossbow) fires a wide variety of ammunition -- bombs, winged balls, floaty rocks -- capable of razing castles to the ground. Each turn begins with a player stepping forward with hands out to grab ammunition loaded in the ballista. They step back to set tension, raise or lower their arms to mark trajectory, and move left and right to aim. Once the shot is in the air, flight angles can be fine tuned by waving your arms, and special abilities can be enacted by raising your hands. The goal for each level is simply to score enough points to earn a bronze, silver, or gold medal and progress to the next challenge. A multiplayer mode allows two players to play competitively in the same room.
Is it any good?
The physics can be a little wonky, and the graphics aren't much more sophisticated than those of an iPhone game, but Wreckateer can be a real blast. Steering a wrecking ball in just the right way to fly through power-ups en route to smashing into castle spires -- and creating a big mess of virtual debris in the process -- is both satisfying and entertaining. There's not much of a story, but that doesn’t really matter. The fun comes from figuring out the perfect shot to maximize your score and earn better medals, and working toward completing challenges like hitting a certain number of power-up icons or ramming balls into goblins before hitting walls. Many Kinect games are downright mediocre, but Wreckateer stands out as one of the most enjoyable and habit-forming motion control experiences available to Xbox gamers.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about the different pleasures that come with building and destroying things. It's easy to understand why creating something is fun, but why do we often also enjoy tearing something down? Do you prefer games in which you construct things or those in which you demolish them?
Discuss different types of puzzles. Do you like word conundrums? Math problems? Riddles and mysteries? Physics-based games? Why might you prefer one kind of brainteaser to another? Does it have solely to do with your skill?