Kinect Joy Ride
I've never been a huge fan of Wii racing
games, especially using the wheel attachment that allows you to
"pretend" like you're holding a wheel. And then Microsoft throw another
spanner into this formula and allow you to drive a car, controllerless
with the Kinect 360. Another element of the formula is that this game
has been designed for younger gamers. So, if you're attempting to
compare this game to Need for Speed Hot Pursuit or Gran Turismo 5,
Kinect Joy Ride and the other two games are like comparing chalk and
The gaming concept for Kinect Joy Ride is
simplicity at its best. You stand in front of the Kinect camera, hold
out your arms and if you want to steer right, you move the imaginary
wheel to the right or move to the right for left. In terms of speed and braking, the game does all
these aspects for you but you do have a boost metre which acts as a type
Then you have stunts and by jumping up in
the air and leaning forward or backwards or spinning around, this will
make your car do some ridiculous manoeuvre. Lastly, you have drifting
and by leaning into a corner, it will allow your vehicle to smoothly
drift around the corner. All in all, the controls work or the Kinect
device works well but everyone now and then it will get confused, such
as trying to do one of the stunts or accidentally using boost. At best,
the controls are mediocre.
The gameplay modes as simplistic
as driving with the majority involve racing... majority involve racing?
We'll get to that later. You are also awarded scores
and tokens to assist in the replay value. One interesting aspect to Joy
Ride are fans and the better you race, the more fans your 360 avatar
will gain. By gaining more fans, this unlocks additional content for Joy
For gaming modes, these include Pro Race,
Battle Race, XBox Live race, Smash, Stunt, Dash and Trick. Pro race is
your traditional racer, whereas Battle Race is more akin to Mario Karts
which is kind of cool, especially with two people. XBox Live race allows
you to play up to 8-playes online and Smash requires you to destroy a
set number of objects with your cars like giant statues. Stunt is obvious... perform stunts
but dash is a little different and requires the player to use boosts in
order to go faster. The worst mode is Trick that requires the player to
match silhouettes of those appearing on the screen.
There are a variety of cars to be chosen
and unlocked in Joy Ride but when it comes to the crux of the matter,
cars are only different by how they look and they all handle the same.
But it did excite my 8-year old nephew when he got a new sports car
though... a little too excited! The only issue with Kinect Joy Ride is
that the menu system is a little annoying and if I had a dollar for
everyone bad Kinect game menu, I could buy a McDonalds meal somewhere.
Developers take note... make sure your menus work properly and easily
before releasing the game.
Graphically, the title is very cartoony and
quite Spartan. The gaming environments look like they have been directly taken
from a Wii game. It's not bad but it's nothing special. Younger gamers will enjoy it but for the majority of
people, Kinect Joy Ride is quite bland. The musical score is also not
memorable as are the sound effects. I've seen worse but for a 360 game,
I'm expecting a lot more.
Kinect Joy Ride is definitely for the kids.
The gameplay is simple and at times gets a little confused but for a
controllerless game, it works for the majority of the time, although personally it's not a
game for me. For parents looking for a game without the violence or
complications and you're looking to get a Kinect for your kids,
definitely check this game out if you're after a second game. However
Kinect Sports come first than this!