As previously mentioned, EyeToy: Play makes exclusive use of a video camera--in fact, the standard PlayStation 2 controller is not even used with the game. You place the camera on top of your television and aim it toward the person playing the game. After you plug the camera into one of the USB ports on the front of your PlayStation 2, playing the game and navigating through menus are handled by your own movements in front of the television. To effectively play the game, you'll need to make sure that you've got adequate room and distance from your television to properly frame yourself in the picture, which may require you to move furniture. You'll also have to take lighting into account, because if your room is too dark, your movements simply won't register properly. If you can't provide enough light, the game has settings to allow you to compensate for having a room that is too dark.
EyeToy: Play is the kind of game even your grandmother can play.
Visually, EyeToy: Play sports a bright, cartoony look with smooth animation for the graphics that make up the general gameplay experience. While these sorts of graphics are usually the most attractive part of a video game, in EyeToy: Play, they're really only a small part of the equation. The video recorded by the camera is peppered with all sorts of effects to spice up the visuals. While the EyeToy camera does a decent job, it certainly isn't the greatest in terms of video quality--the image that is actually displayed on the screen is usually somewhat blocky and blurry even when focused. If you've ever seen the video recorded by a standard webcam, that should give you a pretty good idea of the quality you can expect from the camera. Another small gripe comes with the game's use of short music loops, which make up the bulk of the music that you hear within the game. Given that most of the games last for just a few short minutes, it doesn't create that much of a negative impact, but it sure would have been nice to listen to an entire song instead of a simple repeating loop over and over again. On the upside, most of the sound effects are superb and add a great deal to the interactive nature of the game--for instance, you're given an auditory clue when you successfully make contact with something, as a subtle way of letting you know you're playing the minigames correctly. In short, a great deal of work was put into making EyeToy: Play an immersive experience above everything else, and it certainly shows.
If you're in the market for a game to play when you have friends over, especially friends who have little or no interest in video games, EyeToy: Play is an excellent choice. It's incredibly easy and fun to play, and it's hard to stop playing once you've gotten everyone in the room involved. As a single-player game, though, the minigames don't provide much of a challenge. While only time will tell if more games will use the EyeToy camera in the future, the first game to make use of it is one that will provide at least some fun for just about everyone.