So cute your head will explode
When Kinectimals debuted on the Xbox 360’s newly minted Kinect motion sensor, it instantly tugged at your heartstrings. One thing that we humans cannot resist is cute, cuddly young animals, and Kinectimals delivered it in spades on your TV screen—and now you can get a similar experience on iOS for a fraction of the investment price. While the game is short on variety, it’s filled to the brim with different variations on mini-games and is sure to please its target market that is starved for all things adorable.
Kinectimals starts with you choosing from five different types of animal pups, and once you make your selection, it is time to name, train and play with the little guy (or girl!). With each level (there are 20) you’ll gain the ability to learn new tricks and play different games with your friend. The games vary from playing catch with a ball, skipping over a jump rope or going through a trick routine. Each type has specific twists on the same thing to increase the challenge for players. For example, you might have to complete a ball throwing challenge without missing more than three throws (or any throws).
After a while these challenges are fairly simple (except for the skipping challenges that change speeds on you—still have my pup whimpering as the rope knocks him down on his tush for the umpteenth time!), with the early challenge gauging how much force you should be using on throwing the ball or the best way to draw certain tricks. At some point these challenges grow tiring, but by then you will usually level up, learn new tricks and have a host of new challenges waiting for you to complete. As mentioned, there are 20 levels your pet can go through, along with a number of different locales for them to play in, so you will always feel a sense of progression as you play through the game.
One of the best aspects of Kinectimals is how well they dole out new things to players. As you complete challenges, you’ll be earning coins along with experience, which goes towards buying the animal food and water, along with various other knickknacks to keep your pet entertained. Thankfully I did not see any sort of in-game purchases for coins, so young children will not be suckered into purchasing coins on your account (I applaud Microsoft’s restraint here—the possibilities of children plundering their parents credit cards on this game could potentially be endless) Additionally, if you have children or you yourself own a copy of Kinectimals on the Xbox 360, there are five new animals that you can unlock by buying the iOS version of the game and transferring them to your console. You can also transfer your current Xbox Kinectimal to your iOS game, so you can have your fuzzy friend with you at home and on the road.
All told, Kinectimals is a game that young children will enjoy. Zooming in on your pet can giving it a nice rub under the chin and hearing it purr is just a heart-warming activity, even for my black, cynical soul. There’s plenty of content on offer here, and while some of it is repetitive and there are some accuracy issues with some of the motions, this is the perfect game for young children and for anyone that needs some more cuteness in their lives.