It might seem strange me reviewing a game that was released some time ago on the Xbox 360, but after seeing the magical effect it continues to have on my son and his friends makes me want to talk about it.
A sequel/expansion of Double Fine’s Happy Action Theatre, Kinect Party consists of a collection of interactive vignettes designed to keep people active in front of the Kinect camera. By default, the game runs through each every couple of minutes which makes it one of the few “games” on 360 that requires little interaction at all.
If you left it running at a party it would seem like the world’s most expensive screensaver until you stepped within range of the camera. And though it might come across as sounding incredibly boring, put a three year old in front of it and popping virtual balloons is a fun and frantic experience.
And that’s the beauty of Kinect Party; it’s not about high scores or defeating bosses, it’s about standing up and seeing what fun you can have in front of the TV as a group.
And if you want, you can share some in game snapshots with friends on Facebook which may not always be recommended if you’re stuck in a vignette dressed as a virtual fairy.
There are quite a few kids oriented 360/Kinect games out there including the Sesame Street titles, which I will admit to thinking are remarkable to see in action, but for sheer simplicity and ease of play you can’t really do any better than Kinect Party.
It may not be as much of a game as others and is best in small doses but it rewards in being fun for everyone. And its accomplishments in making Kinect fun make it just as important to the platform as Dance Central, The Gunstringer and Fruit Ninja.