Bundled with the new Xbox 360 peripheral Kinect, Microsoft wants to see if you're ready to embrace gaming in a whole new controller-less way. Hands free, we are ready for our first adventure with Kinect.

'Kinect Adventures' is the launch title that accompanies each Xbox 360 Kinect unit. In a wise decision 'Kinect Adventures' is probably the most well-rounded game to show off what Kinect is all about. As expected 'Kinect Adventures' is a compilation of 5 mini-games that highlight the many of different applications in which Kinect can be used.

Set up around the idea of being an fearless adventurer, 'Kinect Adventures' lets you play this role in short bursts the last a few minutes. Available online and off, you will be able to have players jump in and out of the action as you share in the experience of controller-less gaming.

For modes, the mini-games or adventures as they are called, can be played out in the 'Adventure Mode,' a linear progression of challenges. The conditions of victory and levels switch up as you progress, tasking the player to earn a certain amount of treasure pins or adventure pins, which are tallied up in a medal scoring system. Lastly, you can be placed in time based challenges that has you completing in a group of adventures under a certain time limit. Playing through the "adventure" unlocks the ability to played each game alternatively in the 'freeplay' or a 'time play' mode.

Achievements and Avatar awards are incentive to motivate you through each challenge. Living statue characters models can also be upload and shared on the internet, if you feel the need to spread the love. These "statue" segments a simple little spots where you take control of another avatar and move and talk as if you're the character. It's good fun, but nothing I would be uploading.

Now that the basics have been explained, lets get to the fun... the games.

1) Rally Ball is probably the first game you will become acquainted with. Rally Ball is similar to the classic 'Breakout' or as Blackberry users know it 'Brick Breaker' except you are the reflective surface that the balls bounce of off into the bricks. Situated in a hallway you will get your first idea of depth with Kinect sensor. Defecting all the balls in a hallway with breakable blocks in the end, you use all your limbs to hit the balls into these blocks to finish up a round. Rally Ball is a fun mode that gets justly intense when multiple balls are unleashed and the speed picks up. It's not groundbreaking by any means, but it's good clean fun and an excellent mini-game for this compilation.


2) River Rush is up next and likely one mode that you have seen advertised through Kinect's market campaign. More fun in a two player setting, the players will need to work together to help navigate a raft down some rapids obstacale course. Unity is key as both players need to navigate and collect pins by shifting your weight inside the virtual raft along with jumping in the air to reach greater heights and even more pins. Like 'Rally Ball,' 'River Raid' is good clean fun, just expect a little more of a workout here.

3) Reflex Ridge is the most physically demanding mini-games in 'Kinect Adventures.' This mode puts the player on a forward moving slate on tracks. While moving on the track you have will have to dodge and jump over obstacles while collecting coins. Jumping quickly moves the device faster on the rails making it both a test of speed and skill. While jumping tracking is always spot on this is the only strong competitive mode in 'Adventures' and rightfully the trickiest to play.

4) 20'000 Leaks is a departure from the other modes, putting the player underwater in a glass cube. The goal here is to plug the leaks that glass-puncturing fish poke in the transparent structure. Simply, or not-so-simply place your foot or hand over the whole to stop the leak. This continues in increasing speed and numbers of fish that are attacking. The round ends when the time expires or the plugs are leaked. 20'000 leaks (under the sea) is a perfect example of the 3D nature that Kinect gets you to play in. While things didn't always run silky smooth in this mode, it's a enjoyable alternative to the rest of the games.

5) Space Pop is a space-station like simulator where you will weightlessly flap your arms to collect bubbles. The idea is simple, the more bubbles you pop, the better the score. Like 20'000 leaks, depth will be used while you move in this virtual box. It's a nice “showcase” for the tech, but not as much fun as the other modes and really, I felt a little silly flapping my arms like a bird.


'Kinect Adventures' is a topnotch showcase of what the Kinect unit is all about. While Microsoft could have gone the route of releasing 'Kinect Sports' as the software bundled with the new hardware, 'Kinect Adventures' takes us down a different route then its competitors, which is refreshing. While 'Kinect Adventures' lacks any long term substance, each game is a lot of fun with friends, exactly what Microsoft's Kinect is all about.

  • Fun simple games
  • Lots of fun with friends
  • Picture feature is hilarious
  • Adventure mode gives the game some substance
  • Few of the depth games can be touch and go
  • It's just a group mini-games, don't expect too much
  • Not for the lone gamers, better with friends
  • Novelty wears off after a while
Quote: "While 'Kinect Adventures' lacks any long term substance, each game is a lot of fun with friends, exactly what Microsoft's Kinect is all about."
Reviewed by DowntownJimmy | 11.19.10

Similar Games: Kinect Sports (6.2) | Kinectimals (6.8)


Kinect Adventures


Good Science


US Release
November '10



Player 1-2
Co-op 1-2
Online MP 1-2
HD 1080p
D/L Content
Kinect Required