Kinect Adventures Is Surprisingly FunS

While my favorite Kinect game of the show was most certainly Dance Central, the game that had me jumping up and down on an imaginary river raft was my number two choice.

Kinect Adventures has gamers playing along side a friend, or competing with one, to work their way through a series of "adventures" set in outer space, on mountains, under water and along roaring rapids. In my time with the game that meant smacking bouncing balls, rafting down a river in a big rubber raft and moving along an elevated course, dodging obstacles and trying to score points.

The first segment I played had me hitting rubber balls into a wall for points. This was almost identical to the game Microsoft showed last year to unveil the Project Natal technology.

The next segment I played took place on a river raft. Dean Takahashi and I stood side-by-side in front of a television, two avatars representing us stood directly in front of us on a raft. The characters moved whenever we did, fidgeting, shifting their virtual weight from foot to foot and, most often, waving their arms wildly and jumping up and down when we did.

To play the game we had to lean left and right, in unison, to guide the raft along a raging river, choosing the path with he most points to collect, and jumping together to bounce the raft up out of the river onto higher-scoring elevated paths. Jumps timed one after the other, with say Dean jumping first and myself jumping a few seconds later, made the raft essentially double jump.

After leaning and jumping our way down the river the segment wrapped up with our score and a few highlight photos showing us looking silly while playing the game, like shots of Dean or I in mid jump or leaning to the side.

The other segment we tried had Dean and I competing against one another. In this one, the screen was split and we had to make or way down a moving pathway, dodging barriers by moving to one side or the other, jumping and ducking. We could also speed up our moving platform by jumping. While making our way through this obstacle course, we could score points by swiping at floating blocks. These blocks were sometimes just a wall of points and sometimes in the shape of our bodies in different positions, like with our arms out and tilted to the side or with one leg lifted.

It sounds fairly simple and I suppose it is, but it's also quite a bit of fun.