After the surprisingly good Disneyland Adventures Kinect game, it’s now Pixar’s turn to adapt their work for a family orientated motion controlled game with Kinect Rush: A Disney Pixar Adventure. While Kinect still struggles for a satisfying “hardcore” game there is no shortage of family games available, a trend that looks set to continue at least in the short term.
Kinect Rush follows a similar style as the aforementioned Disneyland game where you play as a child visiting a park, which acts as a hub. During this stage the Kinect camera will scan you and create an avatar of you in Pixar form, taking visual queues from your hair, clothes and even eye colour to create a set of characters that represent you in all the worlds available in the game: Toy Story, Ratatouille, The Incredibles and Up. Depending on the world you chose to play you’ll play as a toy robot, a rat, a car, a super hero or a child respectively all based on your appearance, for example if you are wearing a red top and blue jeans you’ll be a red and blue car; it’s a neat trick and helps give some individuality to the player character especially if you are playing two player.
There is not much in the way of over arching narrative, but it is all presented fantastically. Playing as a child you walk around differently themed areas based on the Pixar movies by pumping your arms, meeting other children who will play games of make believe with you; starting off by setting the scene in the real world and eventually parting ways, as clouds mark the transition into the world of the films, and suddenly you’re in the game as your character working alongside the stars.
The scope of the gameplay on offer is more ambitious than previous games allowing for full exploration of areas, platforming sections and hidden collectibles, giving it more of a proper game feel rather than that of a minigame compendium, however this is also where it comes unstuck as it’s difficult to maneuver the characters with the degree of precision it sometimes requires, leading to frustration as you repeatedly back away from areas and try to line your self up again. When it works however it works well, for instance one sequences in the early stages of Toy Story sees you running over playground equipment sliding down wires and riding a RC car in rapid succession, which looks fantastic however as you inevitable turn your body a bit as you furiously run on the spot the game interprets this as a change in direction, pointing you the wrong way breaking the flow of gameplay and in turn the feeling of immersion. The games target audience is of course children and families, who will most likely gloss over this faults the second Woody tells them to saddle up pardner! But it’s an annoyance for us older games who should know better but don’t.
Kinect Rush is a good use of the technology available and is an ambitious attempt to move the genre on for the usual minigame collections, it’s a fantastic concept marred slightly by control issues, but never the less is fantastic fan service for Pixar enthusiasts and far from the cynical cash ins that have plagued licensed games past.
Words > Jason Potter