Rabbids are furry white creatures with a maniacal streak that's hard to resist. These two-legged, buck-toothed, buggy-eyed aliens have traveled around the world and through time, causing chaos as a result of their lofty ambitions and abject stupidity. In Alive & Kicking, the Rabbids attempt to get you in on the chaotic fun with a bevy of Kinect-fueled minigames. Unfortunately, there isn't a lot of the signature craziness here, leaving the simplistic games disappointingly devoid of appeal.
There are only two proper game modes in Alive & Kicking: Quick Play and Party. The first mode unfolds in the manner that you might expect. You choose the number of players and then either play a random succession of games or personally select the ones that interest you one game at a time. There are a few dozen minigames in all. Some of them can be experienced alone, but many of them require you to bring in at least one friend. Whether you're alone or surrounded by pals, Quick Play is a good bet when you're in a hurry. It lives up to its name, and you can easily stop playing anytime you like without feeling that you've lost something as a result.
Party mode is a more ambitious alternative to Quick Play, though just barely. You still play the same minigames, but now, you need to have at least three people in the room. Each of as many as 16 players begins by creating a profile. When that's settled, everyone plays through a variety of games while the computer keeps track of placement brackets so you don't have to keep track of them. The player that loses a versus challenge must then complete a forfeit activity to minimize the number of points lost, which is really just a nice way of saying that someone has to make him or herself look like a fool. For instance, the unfortunate player may be asked to dog-paddle around the room, kiss someone (but not on the cheek), or pantomime a phone call while a shoe fills in for the phone. That performance is then rated by other players in the room. They are asked to indicate whether or not the losing player was really committed to his or her performance. Even if you deliver a performance worthy of Meryl Streep, the other players can vote you down for their own selfish reasons. After all, the ultimate victor in the Party mode is the last person who runs out of points. Self-preservation is bound to factor in whenever there's a vote, but giving credit where credit is due can help encourage your fellow players to keep being wacky.
As you play the minigames in either of the two available modes, you are given brief instructions and scored on your results. For instance, one minigame asks you to head-bang quite aggressively. If you throw your head around enough, then you'll bump a rabbid's onscreen forehead. The height of the resulting lump determines your ranking, which in turn determines the amount of in-game currency that you receive upon clearing a challenge. In another minigame, your rating is based on how quickly you properly identify the number of differences between two photographs. Any funds that you earn can then be used to purchase interactive items and decorations for your own personal rabbid in the My Raving Rabbid mode.