From developer Double Fine, Kinect Party includes all of the modes you loved from Happy Action Theater with new photo and social networking integration. Plus, Double Fine has also added 18 more mini-games to the stable of awesome games from Happy Action Theater. Oh, and did I mention this game is free?!
By now you may have grown accustomed to reading our reviews of games where we mix in what we love and what we don’t love as much. In the case of a free game like Kinect Party, while the game has a couple of minor issues (it freezes when players leave the view of the camera), considering the low cost of entry, these issues are easily forgotten. It’s not like this game is as crappy as some of the other free games Microsoft has unleashed (Toyota Yaris and Totemball).
So, what’s to love about Kinect Party? To start, this game is designed so that anyone can enjoy the game. Kids, adults, and senior citizens can all play through these simple and entertaining camera games. For those of you that have played Happy Action Theater, the new levels in Kinect Party are just as fun if not better than the first set. Some of my new personal favorites include “The Kung Fu Chop Master,” “Pirate’s Treasure,” and “Dub Step.” These are all cute little mini-games that allow for a nice chuckle without overstaying their welcome.
A new feature that Happy Action Theater was in desperate need of is the clever “Hey Television” feature. By just saying “Hey Television” while in-game, players can bring up a voice command menu that will allow you to pick your mini-game, look through photographs, and plenty more. Since using your voice is more exact than hand controls, Kinect Party is far less frustrating to navigate. Plus, in addition to voice control, Kinect Party has increased controller assistance to guarantee that motion. It’s really exciting to see developers recognizing the weaknesses of a platform and doing their best to work around them.
The new photograph feature is great for fans of Facebook and steals a lot of the design ideas from Instagram. It’s a wonderful way to share your silly party experiences with friends here and miles away. The only downside is your pictures don’t save to the hard drive; when you stop playing your game session the pictures disappear, never to return. Make sure any happenings you capture with pictures are sent to Facebook for prosperity’s sake.
Kinect Party is a fantastic addition to Xbox library and a wonderful sequel to the already classic Happy Action Theater. The fact that this game is free is a brilliant idea and definitely helps to make the game a showpiece for the new Kinect owners. Make sure you pick up your free copy of Kinect Party starting today, December 18th.
Alex Keen is a contributor to CraveOnline. You can follow him on Twitter @dbldn.