Dan: Virtual pets have been around since at least the time of Tamagotchi and Seaman (or pet rocks, I suppose). This latest version looks fantastic, and offers a real sense of interaction with an onscreen big cat (but really should include a "don't try this at home" warning for impressionable kids). However, like many Kinect games, getting to the actual interaction takes an interminably long time, and the dialogue and voice acting display the same kind of cultural infantilization that we've knocked Nintendo for in the past.
Scott: I want to credit Microsoft for attempting to make a kid-oriented adventure game, but Kinectimals is way too lengthy and repetitive for the attention span of most kids I know. Caught somewhere between Kinect's version of Nintencats and some sort of island-based minigame compilation, Kinectimals really succeeds at neither. Long, unskippable opening movies and endless ball-tossing with your mini predatory cat of choice are fun for a few minutes, but I can't imagine many people who'd want to slog through the whole admittedly well-produced experience. This is strictly for little kids with lots of patience, or those who simply adore annoying winged lemurs and cats.
November 3, 2010 9:00 PM PDT
Photo by: Microsoft
| Caption by: Dan Ackerman, Scott Stein
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