Pirate's Treasure actually makes my living room look cleaner than normal.
Kinect Party’s channels on the whole show a lot of improvement over HAT’s thanks to their extensive use of augmented reality. Several minigames superimpose bits of clothing and accessories over players. The ‘Costume Party’ channel revolves entirely around grabbing silly costume pieces as they float by, including a Minecraft head and pickaxe; ‘Pirate’s Treasure’ dresses participants up as pirates while they dig through sand for treasure; and more. Not only are these elements totally silly; they truly bring the imaginative playing of childhood to life for everyone to see.
As with HAT, several retro gaming-themed activities will warm older gamers’ icy hearts. ‘Hyperspace’ puts players in the background of a 3D hallway as they aim cursors at enemies and even bosses in the foreground; ‘Voxel Runner’ turns players into blocky voxel men as they dash through a canyon à la Temple Run; and ‘Sweet Tooth’ is a simplistic platformer in which eating sweet fattens up players’ images while slowing them down. These channels are the most structured and any one of them could easily be expanded into a fine standalone XBLA game.
The path of sweets leads to fatness.
Just like the previous game, Kinect Party allows players to drop in and out of gameplay simply by entering or leaving the Kinect’s field of view. In the channels that display the players’ room as video with overlying augmented reality elements, up to six people can play along. Other channels like ‘Sweet Tooth’ that turn individual players into sprites work much better with just two or three players. Several channels like ‘Hyperspace’ and the Fruit Ninja-inspired ‘Chop Master’ involve actual cooperative goals like knocking out enemies and objects together. The visualizers just allow everyone to act silly without a concrete objective. All signed-in profiles unlock Achievements simultaneously. The game even has both a 2-player and a 6-player Achievement in store.
Kinect Party is tailor-made to get kids moving around and laughing together. Parents will have a blast playing along with their wee ones, and even the kidless will enjoy it in group settings. Kinect Party’s game design would still benefit from a better controller interface for those who want it and more control over the channel rotation – maybe we’ll get those things in another sequel. Regardless, Double Fine has created another party game mainstay and one of the best uses of the Kinect so far.
The Co-Op Experience: Kinect Party's minigames can track up to six players at once. Players work together to pop balloons, shoot down enemies, and more. Some minigames work better with less people, as standing in front of each other can cause players to disappear. The game is definitely intended to be played with others though.
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.