Kinect Disneyland Adventures: First Review, 8.2

A good first review of my second game, Kinect Disneyland Adventures. NZGamer gave it an 8.2:

Kinect Disneyland Adventures is a worthy purchase. I ploughed into it expecting a managerie of gimmickry, Disney propaganda, and little actual gameplay. What I got however was a highly entertaining, well-polished hive of interactive entertainment. It beautifully encapsulates the essence of the beloved theme park and – considering New Zealand’s geographical isolation – could well be the closest a lot of Kiwi kids ever get to Mickey and his pals.

The game presents users with a virtual Disneyland, placing their Xbox Live avatars in the middle of a bustling theme park to explore. The in-game environment has been designed to mimic the real life location and those lucky enough to have been to the tourist trap in Anaheim, California will know their way around from the get-go.

Navigating the park is made fairly intuitive thanks to the Kinect technology. With your feet firmly planted in the comfort of your own living room, you can look around by twisting your body, or turning your shoulders in the direction you want to look in. Players then move forwards by pointing straight ahead, mimicking little kids going ‘mommy, I want to go to there!’ and thrusting their finger ahead. It takes some getting used to, but after some practice players of all types will be charging around Disneyland looking for things to do.

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But the main attractions in Disneyland are obviously the rides. This game includes over twenty different mini-games, all themed around a famous ride or set from the actual Disneyland parks. They include Peter Pan, Pirates of the Caribbean, Big Thunder Mountain, Jungle Cruise, Alice in Wonderland, Tomorrowland, Haunted Mansion, the Matterhorn, and more. It’s here that Kinect Disneyland Adventures can be classified as a video game, rather than just an interactive walk-through. Each of these rides offers varied, fun gameplay that holds its own against other Kinect titles admirably.

Quite often these rides are broken down into chapters, or mini-games within the same theme. For example Peter Pan starts off with a virtual flying mini-game, where users spread their arms out and soar through the night skies, following Tinkerbell on their way to Neverland. Not long after that they’ll be duelling with Captain Hook himself, waving their arm around as if welding a sword on the deck of the Jolly Roger. Although it’s not the same experience as the actual ride in Disneyland, the chapters combined tell the story of the animated film and feel like a cinematic experience with plenty of interactivity along the way.

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Kinect Disneyland Adventures is a thoroughly enjoyable Kinect experience and highly recommended for the wee ones this Christmas. It’s probably not going to last more than a month and once played fully, is unlikely to be explored again. But for the reasonable price of under $70, is worth the price of admission for those households with the Kinect hardware at the ready.

Check out the full article on NZGamer: Kinect Disneyland Adventures

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