Kinect Sports - Xbox 360 (Very Good)
Kinect Sports is one of the launch games for Microsoft's Kinect peripheral for the Xbox 360 where movement of the players using their body and limbs, not a physical controller, is translated onscreen through their Xbox 360 Avatars. All included games are simulations of real-life sports. There are three main game modes: a main event for one or two players locally or over Xbox Live, Party Play for multiple players in a single room, and Mini-Games where the included sports are presented with a variation in the gameplay. Not all games share the same free-for-all or cooperative options. For AI opponents the player can also determine the difficulty level. Party Play consists of variations of the main sports as well, for up to six players divided over two teams. A session generally lasts fifteen minutes with six rounds. A game is chosen by turning a wheel and then each team has to appoint a player to compete.
The included sports are:
Teams of two characters play games of beach volleyball in a race to reach seven points first, but only when there is a two-point difference. There are different serving options and the player can also jump and hit to smash or block. Extending an arm left or right in the direction of the team player is done to pass, build up an attack or return a ball. Passing can also be done with two hands for more accuracy and the game registers a small touch to land the ball close over the net. In the first mini-game you return balls on a field filled with distractions and in the second game you can only return the ball with a specific body part, highlighted on the screen. You have to return the ball with your head, feet or hands as indicated.
Players extend a hand left or right to pick up a ball and then swing it backwards and immediately forwards, releasing it on the lane. By stepping around and leaning in you can give the ball more momentum. Effect can be applied by crossing your arm over your chest after swinging. In the mini-games there is a survival mode where you need to hit all pins in a single throw, with different positions for each challenge. You can miss five times before the game is over. In the second mini-game you need to hit as many racks of pins as possible against a time limit, quickly picking up balls left or right. A new rack only appear when all pins have been thrown over.
A boxing match is done from a see-through first-person perspective. Players can hit and block high and low and the game registers the strength of the punch. A game is won through a regular knockout, a technical knockout or a judges' decision. When you are knocked down yourself, you need to hit the stars circling above your head to get back up before the count reaches 10. Throwing punches wildly is discouraged as multiple blocks allow an opponent to counter with a hard strike.
In this game of soccer players need to reach the opponent's goal through passes. When the ball is in possession different passing options are shown. The pass is given by kicking in one of the available directions, while the opponent can intercept by blocking the path or tackling. When close to the goal you can shoot. In a defending position you attempt to stand in the ball's path or perform a tackle. As the keeper you can sidestep and use your hands, feet or body to block the incoming shot. There is no free movement otherwise. The referee can award penalties and free kicks and calls a fault when the player takes too long to pass. Using a corner, a throw-in or a cross-pass into the center a style shot can sometimes be performed. There is a cooperative mode to play with another local player in your team taking turns whenever an action is performed. The two mini-games involve blocking many consecutive shots as a keeper or switching places and doing target shooting with a keeper in the goal.
Games of table tennis are played as singles or doubles. The first to reach eleven points wins, but only when there is a two-point difference. To serve players pick up the ball, throw it in the air and hit it. Returning the ball is done by extending the arm and swinging left or right. The strength and the direction of the shot is picked up. Effect can be applied by raising your arm up and down while returning to introduce topspin or backspin. In the first mini-game you have to return a constant stream of balls quickly and the second one is a rally that goes on until you miss.
Track and field
This event consists of multiple sports: Hurdles, Sprint, Javelin, Discus Throw and Long Jump. Each one is played using the motions you would perform in real-life. For instance while doing hurdles you need to actually run at a fixed position to gain speed and jump whenever you approach a hurdle. All of the events can be played one after another as a pentathlon. In the two running events there is a technique to gain extra boost while running.
The game incorporates the Show Off & Share functionality of Kinect Adventures. There is an option to allow Kinect to record video highlights of yourself while playing the game. These are shown when an event is finished. They can be shared locally or posted online to kinectshare.com - where it is possible to download the video to a PC or share them directly through Facebook.
In the singleplayer mode the player earns experience by competing in events. Certain amounts of points are rewarded with badges and avatar items.