Just Nintendogs which was the world's
"decent" pet simulator game, Microsoft have upped the
ante by releasing one of the world's most
realistic pet simulators available on any console called Kinectimals.
What makes Kinectimals so appealing is that it uses the Kinect
controller free technology which means that you can interact with the animals
on screen with just your body. As opposed to Nintendogs which boasted
simplistic graphics, Kinectimals takes this new genre to a totally new
level thanks to its realistic graphics and flawless interactivity.
the player chooses their own animal to raise as they venture to the
animal island called Lumeria, a perfect sanctuary that has not been
influenced by mankind. Although Lumeria is inhabited by all sorts of
animals, we discover that a pirate once visited these shores many many
years ago. However as opposed to the rough and tough pirates of the
Caribbean, Captain Blackwood was a noble man, hence this perfect
sanctuary for animals. When you arrive on the island, you are introduced
to Bumble who acts as your animals guide and mentor through the lands of Lumeria.
Your first task in
Kinectimals is to choose your cub. There are five different species of
cats available which include cheetahs, lions, tigers, leopard and
panther. Once you have chosen your new cub, you then need to interact
with them which includes patting, feeding, cleaning and of course
playing. The game makes good use of the Kinect technology as you
interact with these animals and the mini-games are actually quite fun
like playing soccer, fetch and even a remote controlled car area. It's also
great how the animals imitate your movements and if you jump in the
real-world, they will also jump in their virtual environment. It's all
very clever. As you do progress, the game then unlocks additional
species for the player to pick and some cool items to be found along the
There are challenges that must be completed in the game such as
searching the island for pirate treasure or assisting your cub through
one of those pet like obstacle courses. The strangest thing about
Kinectimals is that at times, it's like the player is being trained
because for quite a few of the challenges, you need to go through them.
This gives you a mini-workout! There are lots of
items that can be purchased from the local store on the island which
happens to run by another animal, a lemur to be specific which allows you to purchase toys and furniture for your pets home.
Add in a plethora of
unlockable content and Kinectimals is a very engaging game that offers
some great replay value as you teach your animals new tricks, purchase
them new toys and generally have the most realistic interactive
experience to date. It should also be noted that just like EyePet for
the PlayStation 3 or Nintendogs for DS, Kinectimals has been designed for the
younger gamer or children. If you're looking for something more
interactive and challenging, I suggest you look elsewhere because this
game is simplistic at best.
However it's a great example of what is
possible with the Kinect and personally, this is one of the best games
available for this new system. For kids, the game teaches them all they need
to know so there is a minimal amount of adult supervision because
your guide has a true knack of explaining things very well. This is one
well thought out game!
is probably one of the nicest looking Kinect games on the 360 with some
amazing realistic animals. From the fur to the way they move, all the
animals interact quite well with the player. Add in a tropical setting
that would not look out of place in the Caribbean and Kinectimals is
truly a sensory overload to the eyes. Interestingly enough Kinectimals
has one of the better menu interfaces as well! Add in a very mellow orchestral
soothing soundtrack and a variety of animal sounds and Kinectimals looks
and sounds great.
Kinectimals is a Kinect game made right and even though it has been
designed for children, the developers have added enough Kinect content
to impress even adults. It may be designed for kids but I had a ball
playing with these virtual animals as did my 10 year old niece. I really
cant fault this game and kudos for Microsoft for creating something
unique and ultimately quite playable!