The non-driving levels are basically 3D platformers. You’ll run, jump swing from ropes, and more as you team up with NPCs and act out scenarios from each movie. In Up, the player and Russell get to chase after Carl’s house, escape from Muntz’s zeppelin, and more. The Incredibles has you teaming up with Violet to avoid nasty hazards, rescue Mystique, and battle a spider-like Omnidroid. Toy Story involves helping Woody rescue the porcupine toy nobody cares about from Al (the guy in the chicken suit from Toy Story 2); and you’ll rescue a rat in jar and paddle through a sewer in Ratachooga (admittedly this is only film I haven’t seen yet).
Cars, as you might expect, is purely driving. It controls just like Kinect Joyride, players twisting their arms as if holding a steering wheel. Because of the naturalistic control scheme, the Cars levels are the easiest to get into. I loved zipping around as a secret agent car, jumping over pits and through signs as I raced to stop a bomb from going off.
The fact that Kinect Rush’s levels aren’t just minigames is its greatest strength. Instead of just doing movie-ish things like in KDA, it really feels like you’re in the movies. Their atmosphere is perfectly captured with beautiful graphics, spot-on sound (mostly using the real movie voice actors), and great level design. Because there are only three levels per film, none of them wears out its welcome – you can have a blast even if you don’t care about the rat movie or Larry the Cable Guy pretending to be a mentally-handicapped truck instead of a mentally-handicapped comedian.
Each level has a fair bit of replay value, too. The points you earn from collecting coins and completion time at the end of the level fill up a reward meter for that level. You’ll unlock secondary objectives (such as trapping Muntz’s dogs in Up), new moves, and new helper characters from the films. These open up different areas ala Metroid and increase scoring potential, so you can finally achieve Gold and Platinum medals. Each level also hides four hidden collectibles that unlock the ability to play as characters from the films.
Even if you didn’t sign in a second player at the beginning, another person can drop in or out at any time (yes, we’re finally getting back to the co-op now). Kinect Rush has one big advantage over KDA and that’s split-screen play. While the hub world does not lend itself to exploration, the actual levels contain alternate paths and loads of coins that you couldn’t grab all by your lonesome. In fact, one player can stay behind looking for things while the other runs on ahead – you’re not tethered together. That’s usually cool, but sometimes my partner struggled with a particular bit and I wished that the game would just warp them to me like a lot of other titles do.
Speaking of helping each other, most levels in Rush have one or more simple co-op puzzles. These tend to involve one player stepping on a switch so that the other can reach a new area or unlock a new path. They mostly enhance the co-op experience, but if one person isn’t adept at the motion controls (they’re tricky, remember), it can get frustrating. On the plus side, fail at a puzzle too many times and you’re given the option to skip ahead of it together.
A few more co-op notes: while progress is only saved to one player’s save file, both players earn Achievements. Oddly, Rush only has friends leaderboards rather than global ones, much like a Windows Phone game. If none of your friends play the game, the lists will just be empty. But there are at least separate co-op leaderboards; a good idea since scoring potential is much higher in co-op games.
It takes a while to start really enjoying Kinect Rush: A Disney-Pixar Adventure thanks to the challenging motion controls. But those controls do allow for some really interesting and fun level designs, which is where Asobo shows their expertise. Rush really captured the most exciting moments from each movie. The co-op is a step up over KDA since both players get to move around independently and interact in meaningful ways. It’s just a shame that co-op is locked behind the usual tedious Kinect sign-in process, made worse here by confusing menus. Get past those Kinect foibles and you'll have a great time pretending to be in these family-favorite movies.
The Co-Op Experience: A friend can join in for split-screen play at any time. Both players can take separate pathways to find hidden coins and items, and complete co-op puzzles in order to progress through each level. There are also separate leaderboards for co-op.
Co-Optimus game reviews focus on the cooperative experience of a game, our final score graphic represents this experience along with an average score for the game overall. For an explanation of our scores please check our Review Score Explanation Guide.